Good old Peter. When I think of Him, I think of a passionate individual ready to take on the world. From the first day Jesus met him by the Sea of Galilee and spoke the words, “Follow Me.” Peter stopped what he was doing and immediately went with Jesus. The text actually uses the word immediately. (See Matthew 4:21-22 N.K.J.V.)
Luke records in his gospel that Jesus told Peter, “Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you…” (See Luke 22:31-32 N.K.J.V.) The enemy knew the power of Christ that lived in Peter and maybe even thought he had the edge when Peter did the unthinkable and denied Jesus three times. But the power of Christ and His grace to redeem us is so much stronger than the power of darkness.
Even sin itself cannot keep us from using our gifts to glorify God, because within the Children of God lives the Holy Spirit, and He speaks conviction that soaks us in truth and gently dries us clean with grace.
If your past sins are keeping you tied down with guilt and you’re unable to move in the gifts you were born to run with, stand strong in stillness.
Be still and Know.
Know that He is God; He will be exalted among the nations, He will be exalted in the earth! (See Psalm 46:10 N.K.J.V.)
He will be exalted and He will use you regardless of what you’ve ever done or where you’ve ever been. But, friend, first thing is first: repentance is key.
Repentance leads to victory. Let the truth which flows from the word of God in your life wash over you, and then allow His grace to dry you clean.
God is God and He deserves to be honored and worshiped with offerings that can ONLY come from YOUR LIFE.
Only your life has the power to carry out the purpose He has in mind. When you were created, you were given gifts, and even though others might hold similar talents, they don’t own what you have.
His will is for you to find freedom, and through your freedom you will have the ability to help others find that same freedom.
However, sometimes, after we’ve repented we can’t find the still place of peace. Instead, we find ourselves stuck in condemnation. The word of God tells us specifically that there is no condemnation in Christ. (See Romans 8:1 N.K.J.V.)
Our greatest struggles often come from the inability to forgive ourselves. (Tweet that.)
If Peter would have focused on the three times he denied Christ rather than the grace he was given, and his calling to help build the church, then what?
Peter made it right and God washed him clean. (Find Peter’s restoration story in John 21:15-19)
Jesus called Peter Cephas, which in the Greek means stone.
Peter was a living stone that helped transform “dead rocks” into more living stones. With God, he helped lay the foundation of what we call the church. He didn’t stay stuck in his sin and inability to forgive himself. He repented, accepted grace, and moved in the stillness of Christ to where he helped build the kingdom. And he utilized every gift he was born with in the process.
You, too, can be a Peter. You can use your gifts to glorify God in a way that only you are called to do.
If you’ve asked the living God for forgiveness with a repentant heart, then you are forgiven. Now hear this: forgive yourself and live in the stillness of Christ pressing on for His call.
PS: In honor of Write 31 Days I’m having a special giveaway. If you subscribe to my blog via email, Amazon will send you a kindle edition of my book, Nothing to Hold but Hope, as a gift. The offer is good through October 7th 2015.