In Matthew 16, Jesus gives Peter a glimpse of who he (Jesus) really was. Jesus told Peter He would be a rock that Jesus would build His Church on that would be so strong that the gates of hell would not even be able to prevail against it. We see in the book of Acts, after Jesus ascended and sent the Holy Spirit, that Peter did in fact live out what Jesus had told Peter; but we see in the Gospels that Peter’s journey to becoming that rock wasn’t an easy one.
All of us have a preconception of what life will be like after entering into a relationship with Jesus and we begin living out the calling He has on our lives. We quickly learn that it is much more difficult than we had thought previously, and there are many trials that we face and overcome on our way to also becoming a rock that God can use to build His church and minister God’s love to others.
One of the most frequent and common trials we face are the trials of inaction.How do we overcome the trials of inaction and live out God’s calling for our lives? Let’s learn three lessons from the life of Peter on how he overcame the trials of inaction.
When Jesus hit the scene at the beginning of the gospels, He invited Peter and three other disciples to follow Him. They followed and left their current life behind, but we see in Luke 5:1 that Peter and the disciples went back a short time later. Through a series of circumstances, Jesus asks Peter to follow Him again, and Peter realized he didn’t trust Jesus enough to completely follow Him the first time Jesus invited, and Peter repented and followed Jesus for good.
There are two things we learn from this to help live out God’s calling for our lives.
First, we have to evaluate our priorities to add and subtract activities from our lives that will allow us to live out God’s calling. Peter had to adjust what he spent much of his time doing to follow Jesus. Many times we become overly busy with activities that clog up our lives or do not spend enough time on certain activities that would allow us to pursue God’s calling. We have to prioritize and add or subtract those activities accordingly.
Second, we will be required to take uncomfortable and inconvenient steps of faith. Peter was required to leave all that was secure in his life. Although your adjustments most likely will not require a change of vocation, we are often required to make life adjustments that are uncomfortable and inconvenient and fear begins to attempt to stop us.
In John chapter 21, after Peter denies Jesus and goes back to his old life of fishing, Jesus returns to meet the disciples at the water in His resurrected body. Peter notices Jesus, and Peter swims to the shore, where a conversation and meal together occurs. In the course of the conversation Jesus asks Peter three times if Peter loves Him, and after Peter answers yes all three times, Jesus tells Peter to focus on feeding His sheep. What we can learn from this conversation is that Jesus was telling Peter, my plan for your life is not about you! Even though Peter made some big mistakes and had some big insecurities, God used them to prepare Peter for the calling God had on his life to minister to others, after Jesus would leave earth.
We all have made big mistakes and have big insecurities. We need to realize God has used and is using all those things to prepare us and make us who we are today. We also need to realize it’s not about us. It’s about God and how God can use us to minister to others. God has plans to use your life to build His Church and minister to others in very important ways that have eternal implications. Don’t let the trials of inaction limit God from using you.
Prioritize your life; take the uncomfortable and inconvenient steps of faith; and realize that God is using everything that has happened in your life to make you the rock He can use to minister to others. Let’s overcome inaction in our lives and live out the calling God has for us!
Pastor Chad Hampton
Solon Center Wesleyan Church
15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs (just north of 19 Mile)