Why couldn’t I lay down my life for Jesus back then? Because I couldn’t even lay down, my own agenda, my own personal plans for Peter. I couldn’t even begin to lay down … Self. Why couldn’t I follow Jesus that last night of his arrest? Because I was too focused on following … Peter.
These days I live with the power of the Spirit – the same power that raised the Master from the dead. I now have that power! And so do you – if you are born again.
I am not afraid of Satan. I am aware of his evil power, and I certainly am not going to look to pick a fight with him. But I don’t have to look. Our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. But I’m not afraid of him, because greater is he, the Holy Spirit, who is in me, than Satan.
Do you believe this? The Master said it was so. You might believe in Jesus, but do you believe what Jesus believed? I do. I don’t just believe it, I trust it. So if Satan attacks me, if he is seeking to sift me like wheat, I can resist him, standing firm in my trust. One thing I know, Satan cannot attack me unless the Father has given him permission. He had to ask for permission to sift me like wheat on Jesus’ last night – and he did. He had to ask permission to attack Job, as well.
But can you see God used both attacks to grow us? The sifting process exposed me to myself. My Self was exposed, and it was not pretty. But suffering sifts out the dross of Self. After that experience I was no longer under any illusion that I was big, strong Peter. I knew I needed a Savior, and I knew I needed my Lord to be with me.
As our patriarch Joseph said to his brothers, “You meant it for harm, but God meant it for good.” Satan always means it for harm, but your Heavenly Father always means it for good. The harm is God’s way of sifting out the old you, and leading you forward, deeper into his Kingdom.
I need sifting. I needed the old Self sifted. But I didn’t know it back then. You need sifting, too. But do you know it?