“Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?’” (John 18:10-11)
Trying to protect Jesus, Peter pulled a sword and wounded the high priest’s slave. But Jesus told Peter to put away his sword and allow God’s plan to unfold. At times it is tempting to take matters into our own hands, to force the issue. Most often such moves lead to sin. Instead we must trust God to work out his plan. We must seek to be conduits of His work and Holy Spirt rather than the enforcers. Or worst yet, stumbling blocks of Him. Thanks be to God that Peter didn’t get his way and that God’s plan of redemption didn’t rest on him.
As I read this passage today, I recalled the times this past year where I encountered the most struggle. It was when I was trying to muscle my way in or out of a situation. Whether it was forcing a standard upon leaders and men whom I did life with to ensure my rule of “Not on my watch.” (Level Up 2) was kept in tact or the very provision of my family being from my labor instead of God’s. I see parallels with the temptation in the garden where I was deceived into thinking that the protection of my friends from being burned in ministry depended on me instead of God and that the more successful I was or how much money I made gauged my ability to provide for my family rather than God being our faithful and fruitful provider. It is when I got ahead of myself that I became a stumbling block to myself and possibly hindered work that the Holy Spirit wanted to do in and even through me. I believe it is ok and called for to be zealous for Jesus. However, we mustn’t be “ear hunters”getting ahead of ourselves and we must remember that this zeal is one that comes from and under the providence and power of God and not separate.
Abba, praise You for Your faithfulness. It is always humbling to look back at times where You have worked on my heart and to be able to witness Your magnificent orchestration and intimate care for me. Lord, please help me to grow and learn how it is that I am to be on fire for You yet not get ahead of myself or even You and Your work for that matter. In the same light of there being extremes to humility and pride, I believe it is so for zeal as well. Teach me, mold me and transform me, my Maker. In Jesus name.