May 5, 2015
“… He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas (which is translated ‘Peter.’) (John 1:42)
When Jesus met Peter, his name was Simon and his life was characterized by instability. Yet Jesus gave him the nickname “Peter,” which means “rock” and essentially “stability.”
In Matthew 16 we have an intriguing interview between Jesus and Peter. Jesus had done the “who are you?” question in reverse. He asked the apostles, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter came up with the right answer. The Lord then said in so many words, “You’re not that smart Peter. That answer really didn’t come from you. It came from My Father.”
In this interview Jesus was telling Peter who and what Peter was, and what he was being called to be. When I had a chance to meet with Ravi Zacharias in my home, I asked him, “who is Ravi Zacharias?” He responded, “I think what really matters is how our Lord would answer that question.” In this interview with Peter, Jesus answered that question for him.
In the Gospels Peter’s life is recorded like an unstable spiritual roller coaster. But after Jesus called Peter a ‘rock’ for three years, and after Peter experienced Pentecost, we read in Acts that this unstable man became the rock-like, stable leader of the New Testament Church. When you read the Gospels and Acts, you realize Jesus was convincing Peter of what he could become because he had come to know his Lord and Savior.
Do you hear the voice of the Christ Who lives in your heart trying to give you His answer to this question, “What are you?” Is He making you know what you can become and do for Him since He has made you a new creation? Is He making you know what He can equip you to become as He is calling you and revealing what He wants you to be and do for him?
Dick Woodward, A Spiritual Compass (p. 71-72)
May 29, 2013
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
STEP NUMBER FIVE: Be completely open and unbiased about what the will of God for your life might be.
A well paid consultant told me that much of the time when he earns large fees, his clients do not want his consultation. They simply want him to affirm what they have already decided to do. The will of God is often just out of our reach because we have our agendas in place when we come to God seeking His will. If our minds are set like concrete before we converse with God regarding His will for our lives, we are not really seeking His will when we pray or open His Word. We are actually asking God to bless our will, our agenda, and the way we have decided to go.
We must have the faith to believe the verse quoted above. It is tragically possible for you to miss the will of God for your life because you do not have the faith to believe that God can make you a new creation in Christ. Your extraordinary potential as a new creation in Christ is one reason why you must be completely open and unbiased as to what the will of God for you may be. Seeking God with your mind already made up could rob you of the will of God for a life that is good, perfect and the only life acceptable to your God. God loves you too much to let you live a life that is only a fragment of the life He has planned for you.