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The Reason for Power Failure
The Testing of the Righteous

The Reason for Power Failure

The way Peter followed Christ toward the final moments of your Lord's life on earth reveals some very important lessons for you to think about this day.

Let’s begin here:
Peter, uncharacteristic of his personality, performed three amazing tasks...
   
  • First, Peter PRONOUNCED the spectacular.

In Matthew 16.15 Jesus asked His disciples for THEIR viewpoint as to His actual identity.

Without hesitation, Peter declared boldly: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!”

Peter declared the spectacular!

  He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Mt 16.15-16
  • Second, Peter PERFORMED the spectacular.

One night while the disciples were sailing alone, Jesus caught up to them by walking on the sea. Upon seeing Him the disciples became fearful, thinking Him to be a ghost.

Jesus told them that it was Him and not to be afraid.

Rather than waiting for Jesus to walk to the boat, Peter cried out: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to You on the water.”

Jesus said, “Come.” Peter therefore, got out
of the boat and walked on water.

Peter did the spectacular!

  Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.

Immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I. Do not be afraid."

Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."

So Jesus said, "Come."

And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
Mt 14.25-29
  • Third, Peter DARED the spectacular.

While Jesus and the disciples were praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas Iscariot arrived with a multitude of armed men, sent by the priests and elders to to arrest Jesus.

Peter drew his sword to defend his Lord, and struck the High Priest's servant.

Peter displayed spectacular courage!

In all three instances, where was Peter? “CLOSE TO JESUS” -- that's where!

  While Jesus was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people...

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?" Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him.
Mt 26.47; John 18.10-12
By drawing his sword in the presence of a multitude of armed men, Peter bravely demonstrated his readiness to defend Jesus, even to the death.

And then a strange change took place in Peter. Later that same evening -- after Jesus had been arrested -- Peter repeatedly denied that he even knew Jesus.

In fact, Peter's denials became so emphatic that he even cursed and swore.
  Then Peter began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!" Immediately a rooster crowed. Mt 26.74

What on earth HAPPENED to Peter’s spectacular words, works and courage? The verse alongside gives the answer: Peter DISTANCED himself from his Lord. That distance was twofold...

  • There was a physical distance -- perhaps Peter couldn't help that.
  • But there was also a SPIRITUAL distance -- and that distance was totally of Peter's making, as manifested by his repeated denials of His Lord.

Simply put: Peter had *power failure.* The electricity was shut off inside that previously brave and brash disciple, and POOF! All the lights went out.

When this occurred, who was it that hung back? It wasn’t Jesus. It was Peter.

  Having arrested Jesus, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest's house. But Peter followed at a distance. Lk 22.54
Power failure in the life of a Christian can be defined as: "Being separated from the power source." Or to put it another way: Following Jesus at a distance.

Except you abide in Jesus, there will be no spectacular words spoken; no spectacular accomplishments; no spectacular courage. When the lights go out, the inside becomes dark and barren. And this occurrence will take place because it was you who hung back and became spiritually distant -- NOT your Savior.

Get close to Jesus. Stay near to Him. ABIDE in Him. This is the only remedy there is for power failure in the life of a believer.
  [Jesus said...] Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
John 15.4

The Testing of the Righteous

"The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked." --Psalm 11.5

All events and circumstances fall under the control of divine providence (Rom. 8:28), consequently all the trials we face are traceable to the First Great Cause (Prov. 16:4). Flowing from the stream of God’s permissive Will, the armies of trials march on dressed in their iron armor with specified weapons of testing. Even our blessings may contain splinters and thorns.

History records Christians drowning in seas of prosperity and power. Our mountains are never too high nor our valleys ever too low for temptations to find us. Whatever road our great God has us walking on, you can be sure that behind and in front of us, is a trial.

However, not a drop of rain falls onto the Christian without God giving His permission first (Job 1:11; 2:6; Luke 22:31-32). Every trial has been pre-approved by our loving Father before it is sent our way.

Those tests that we many at times despise and look down upon comes from God to prove our genuineness and to move us up a notch or two in our Christian walk (1 Pet. 1:7-8). If we respond to a trial in the right way, it will add to us a kind of virtue, strength and godliness that would never be achieved from any other source (2 Pet. 1:5-10).

For God so loved each of us that He saved us (John 3:16), but He also loves us too much more merely to leave us delivered. He wants each of us looking like Jesus (Rom. 8:29). From God’s superabundant love and His infinite wisdom, comes His support of you when the trial of your faith is taken to the fire. If your roots are going to grow deeper into the soil of life, you must face the winds of adversity and get tossed around a few times.

Mere comfort, ease and an untried life are enemies of faith. Soon they will loosen the knot of tenacity, fortitude and backbone, and leave us with fear and cowardliness. Birthday balloons never rise until the string is cut; trials are the scissors that do the cutting.

But will you notice that the same trials also fall on the wicked as well. God is no respector of person. He does not single out one while ignoring another. He is fair, just and completely honest. He knows how much you can handle (1 Cor. 10:13) and when is the best time for you to handle it.

Great dreams are birth from having gone through great battles.

Much Love,

Rich

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