Stop Trying

“You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ” ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

-Mark 4:27-31 (NIV)

You’ve just got to love Peter, right? The Son of God tells him what’s going to happen, and Peter says “No Way!”. I can’t crack on Peter too much. The other disciples were right there with him and I do it too. We can easily miss seeing something of ourselves here if we’re not careful. How many times are we SO confident that something will never happen to us? I dare say we even look at Peter and say, “That’ll never happen to me. I’ll never mess up like that.”

We’re so confident in what WE can do.

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway. When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”He began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

-Mark 14:66-72 (NIV)

Peter’s confidence in himself was broken. It had to be. Broken, that is. For Peter to grow, it was necessary for him to lose all confidence in his own ability. He had to know that he couldn’t follow Jesus in his own power.

We have to realize that we can’t do it ourselves.

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

-John 21:15-19 (NIV)

After Peter was broken, he had to be mended. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Peter had denied Jesus three times and Jesus is now giving Peter three chances to declare his devotion. Then Jesus says, “Follow me!”. This was an invitation for Peter to stop trusting in his own ability to follow Jesus and live the Christian life and starting trusting the only One Who is able to live such a life to live through Him.

“To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.”

-Colossians 1:29 (NIV)

With all HIS energy.

Stop trying in your power and start trusting in His power.

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