Serving As A Bad Example

Saturday, August 24, 2019
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Give Me That Old Time Religion"1 (Lyrics)

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.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Rose!

    A good thought to ponder, Rose.

    First time I heard of the sacred pause; thank you Rose!

    Oh, Rose, have I ever needed the sacred pause in my life! Thank you for this message.

    Thank you for today’s message. I am inspired by the concept of The Sacred Pause.

    Amen Rose. I’m going to try and remember this each time something unfair, bad etc. happens. People can always be bad examples (including me by times). Keep writing.

    Lovely thought today Rose. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. Yes, we can all be a bit impetuous at times, rather than waiting for guidance from The One who knows best.

    Rose, your insightful comments on the “Sacred Pause” gave me much to contemplate. You then adorned your gift with a magnificent bow by repurposing my favourite hymn into a prayer.
    You are a blessing to me.

    Hi Rose:
    Thank you for your reminder to wait for the Lord. Do you give God a time slot too? I know I do… varying times. I still have a long, long way to go in my walk with the Lord. I will ask Him for more patience and try and let Him decide, when, how, and where He will answer me.
    Bless you Rose.

    Hello Rose
    This is such a good one and so true. We sometimes take the time to ask and then we rush off to do our own thing without waiting for the answer. God must shake his head I am sure.
    But oh, how sweet it is when we are quiet and wait and hear that sweet voice with the answer, sometimes not what we expect but it is his answer!!!
    God bless.

    Hi Rose,
    I have on occasion had the urge to call or write someone about something that was bothering me, however I have learned the hard was that it is quite often good to “sit” on it for a couple of days and usually it is not as important anymore by that time. Good words about the sacred pause. Thank you for writing.

    Hi Rose,
    I have learned the hard way that it is quite often, actually always, good, to “sit’ on a thought for a couple of days before taking action.
    It has happened that after two days it was not so important anymore and abandoned the whole idea.
    Very good words about the sacred pause, thank you for writing.

    I too have those impulse thoughts and a just get R Done without thinking it through. We have been working on building a Serenity garden in an area of our church grounds that had been neglected. It has been overwhelming at times, but we have just kept pushing. It was anticipated to take 2 months and then came the rain and pushed delayed the start and will take us another 6 weeks into fall. I have Learned a great deal about reality and time. Next time I will spend more time considering my actions. In the end we have amazing butterfly gardens just a short walk to Georgian Bay.

    Love this concept
    Thanks for sharing.

    Hi, I loved your devotion today. I am also very impatience and want things done yesterday. Let’s pray for each other.


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