Do you feel overwhelming stress, fear or anxiety? We are here.
Have you ever wondered about that rooster that crowed right after Peter denied his Lord? How did it happen that the rooster crowed just then? Why didn’t he crow sooner? Or why not later? Why was it immediately after Peter had denied Christ three times?
Our immediate reaction to these questions might be to answer: “For one thing, Christ predicted that would happen. For another, by the cock crowing just at that particular time, Peter realized the awful sin he had committed and went out and wept bitterly in repentance.”
We know the Lord loved Peter. We know also that He dearly loves each one of His followers. Thus Christians can be assured that if He had a rooster crow at the right time for Peter, then He is ready to alert us when we stray off the path of righteousness!
Could it be that our downward path toward disobedience and sin starts in the same way as Peter’s? When Jesus predicted that His disciples would desert Him, Peter declared, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will” (Matthew 26:33)!
Oh, how sure we get of ourselves sometimes! We get so sure that we find ourselves relying on our own instead of the Lord’s strength. The longer and stronger we go with the Lord, the more prone we seem to do this, for we may become proud of our own Christian strength!
Then we go to sleep, as Peter did in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” Jesus asked Peter (Matthew 26:40). We may get so wrapped up in our ritual of “serving the church” that we go to sleep; we lose our vision for winning lost souls to Christ. We are in a nice, restful rut. We tell the Lord we would never deny Him, but we fall asleep when He needs us most.
Ah, but we still have some spurts of zeal! See, as the soldiers come to arrest Jesus, Peter leaps up with his sword and lops off an ear! On the surface, this looks pretty brave, but if we look closely we find that Peter had not stopped to pray about it, even when he had been told by Jesus what would happen. In the flesh, Peter lopped off an ear; in the Spirit Jesus restored it (Luke 22:51). Sometimes in our spurts of zeal for the Lord our efforts might drive lost souls further from Him. How careful we must be in all His work to be led by His Spirit!
Now Peter’s faith was low. His Lord had been arrested and led away for trial. In the darkest hour before dawn, temptation struck and Peter fell. He cursed and lied, but worst of all, he denied three times the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Similarly, temptation strikes us at the darkest hour when we are totally unprepared.. After we have relied upon ourselves, gone to sleep, worked in the flesh, then temptation strikes! And like Peter, we may fall.
Then God has a rooster crow for us. It may be a sermon, a devotional message, a Bible lesson. Or a difficult circumstance may cause us to awaken from our sleep. When God confronts us and we realize how we have sinned against Him, then like Peter, let us repent with tears of sorrow. Then forgiven, we can lift up our heads, and living in the Spirit we can go forth to make our lives count for Him in His power.
Father God, I do work hard, often with zeal of my own, neglecting to spend time in prayer listening to Your still small voice of guidance. Thank you that You keep my heart on course by the nudging of Your Holy Spirit to reveal the sin in my life. Help me to respond quickly and willingly and allow You to fill me with fresh joy and zeal that comes from You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Questions: Tell us of a situation where you served the Lord with much zeal but forgot to pray about it. Why do we need to pray and listen to what the Lord tells us?