the power of denial

Peter. The Rock. He was a guy in Scripture that got a great name change. He’s one of my favorities when it comes to character studies. This guy lived petal to the medal, all out, full-on with reckless abandon for Christ. Yet when Peter would fall – he would fall hard. But Peter had a unique way of bouncing back after hard falls.
I’m thinking specifically of the time when Peter (who probably thought he was at the top of his game) denied Christ. Not just a brick shot at the hoop, but a total air ball. No net, backboard, iron – no nothing.

That must have been devastating. But instead of sitting the second half out – Peter wants back in the game. His next step was to surrender to God’s strength. He realized he was operating out of his own abilities and what he thought was strength. It looked great from the outside – on fire, speak what’s on my mind, going all the way, I’ll never deny you attitude… but what his mind and heart desired, couldn’t be sustained by his strength alone.

Lesson learned. For Peter that is. For me… well… still learning. Jesus said it this way, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Jesus says deny your own strength, abilities and talents and let me support your passion and desires.

This is so opposite from what we hear in the world around us. I was raised here in the do it yourself, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, if you want to be it – believe it culture of “success”. Yet as true to form, the Kingdom operates quite opposite of culture. Every day of my life, I must come to the place where I fall on my face and say, “God I can’t do this on my own. I give up.” The power of denial.
That’s where it must all begin… it must begin at the end of ourselves.

God bring me to the end of myself – the place where I rest in your strength alone.

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