John 18:25 – Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire, he was asked again, "Aren't you one of his disciples?" "Of course not," he replied. (TLB)
Matthew 16:18 – Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means 'rock'), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. (NLT)
In the spiritual life, there is an important action called "The Sacred Pause," part of two-way prayer. Before proceeding, we stop and ask God whether the way that we are heading is the way that He intends us to go. Then we pause ("The Sacred Pause") and quietly listen for His answer.
"No one is entirely useless," a saying goes. "You can always serve as a bad example." Scripture gives us the apostle Peter, three times denying the Lord when he is asked if he knows Him, even using a scornful tone in his answer: "Of course not!"
Another time, Peter asks Christ to let him walk on the water, as his Lord is doing. The instant Jesus says, "Come," Peter is out of the boat and onto the water, where he promptly panics and sinks. No "Sacred Pause" in either case. I have always identified with this impetuous apostle.
Even after just writing this devotional, I read the morning paper, then dashed off an email letter to the editor without any pause before sending. I just hurriedly scribbled out my thoughts and pressed "Send" — too late realizing that it implicated an innocent other person. I must immediately try to mend what I've done. Growing in the Spirit is a journey, not an event. "How can I ask God to guide my footsteps if I am always running out ahead of Him?" someone asks.
Speed is the mantra for our ever-faster age. Concerned about the way that things were going with Jesus, Peter wanted to help, to get busy setting up Christ's kingdom on earth. A smartphone would've had him off and running, spreading his misunderstandings of Christ's real purpose, seriously hindering God's great plan of salvation.
As a compulsive, impulsive individual, far more flawed than Peter, I am urgently in need of being reminded that every day is a day when we must carry God's message into all our activities, once we have done two-way prayer. The second way is listening. "The Sacred Pause" goes into our daily reminders, along with "All in God's time" and "Patience always hitches a ride with understanding."
Ephesians 2:20 – You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone. (AMPC)
Prayer: Dear Father God, how grateful we are that You forgive our foolish ways and reclothe us in our rightful minds through Your truth. Thank You for the silence of eternity, that You breathe Your coolness and balm through the heat of our desires. Your still small voice of calm ever calls us back to You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Give Me That Old Time Religion" (Lyrics)