October 18, 2016

Luke 9:33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)

This was one of Peter’s peak, “open mouth, insert foot,” moments. However, we’ve all been there. We don’t know what to say but we feel compelled to say something. It is interesting that the three disciples knew that the two men talking with Jesus were Moses and Elijah, and the question arises as to how they knew that. If it was by direct impartation from the Holy Spirit, Peter’s outburst seems all the more foolish. The disciples had been invited to the mountain by Jesus and their physical/spiritual lethargy had been overcome by the glory of God, but even wide awake they didn’t know how to respond. We may have those moments ourselves. God does something marvelous and we know it, but we don’t know what to do with it. Even here we can’t be sure what Peter should have done, but it’s clear he wasn’t listening obediently to the Holy Spirit. Often what God wants us to do is bask in the moment, to allow His Spirit to work in us on a much deeper level than human intellect or even consciousness. We have the persistent desire to do something, when what God is most after is for us to be something. When we are what He wants us to be, then we will indeed do what He wants us to do, but we tend to put that backwards and really mess things up. As Paul said, we are to be doing the good works that God has prepared for us, (Ephesians 2:10) but too often we tend to think of good works as a substitute for being a child of God. An infant doesn’t have to earn its parents’ love, it just has to be. We have a lot to learn about being children of God!

This is an issue that has tripped me up many times over the years. Peter doesn’t have anything on me! I am very prone to speak when I should be silent. I think I have grown at least a little bit in this area over the years, but my mouth still needs a better OFF button. At times I feel I am spiritually and/or physically lazy, not doing enough in the kingdom of God. However, a few years ago the Lord told me, and had me preach, that He wants us to rest, relax, and rejoice in Him. I’ve quoted that many times in the years since, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got it down pat yet! I am never to hold anything back when God tells me to do something, but at the same time I’m not to go around inventing ways to serve God. Like Peter’s huts, what I do in such cases is of no benefit to what God is doing and it just wears me out. I am to focus on being Christ’s representative, (2 Corinthians 5:20) allowing His power to work in and through me (Colossians 1:29) to accomplish, not what I think would be good, but His perfect will, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this strong Word this morning. When I first read the passage I had no idea what You wanted to say to me. Thank You for the time with my assistant pastor last night, debriefing Him from the time I was gone. I do pray that we would grow as a team so that this church would indeed grow to be what You have planned, however large or small that might be, for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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