Is it tradition or prostitution?
Traditions should draw us together and lead us to the LORD.
Gideon made a sacred ephod from the gold and put it in Ophrah, his hometown. But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshipping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family.
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Is it tradition or prostitution?
Jesus and the disciples are in the Upper Room on the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion. The disciples were just arguing over which of them would be the greatest in the kingdom of God and Jesus has taken the opportunity to give them another lesson about the kingdom of God. Jesus then turns His attention to Simon Peter and tells him that Satan has been asking for permission from God to have all of Peter. Satan has been asking for permission to take Peter down. The enemy of our souls boldly and relentlessly seeks to bring His leaders down. Never forget that and make sure that you are praying for your leaders, especially your spiritual leaders.
Jesus tells Peter that He has been praying for him that Peter’s faith should not fail. It was the rest of the verse that really caught my attention. He tells Peter to strengthen and build up his brothers. That part is not the fascinating part. He was to do that after he repented and returned to Jesus. This infers that He would turn away from Jesus or had already been walking in sin. This verse is followed by Jesus’ prediction that Peter would deny Christ three times before the rooster crows in the morning.
Most would say that it was Peter’s denial that Jesus is referring to here. That may be the case but there may be more to it than that. The disciples had just been discussing who would be the greatest in the kingdom. Jesus immediately turns to Peter and makes this statement. The sense I take from that is Peter may have been the most vocal about his place as the greatest in the kingdom of God. There is no question that Peter played a tremendous role in the early church. He stood as its first leader on the Day of Pentecost. But Peter was not ready for that role, because he believed that he was worthy of it.
Pride and arrogance are two of the most dangerous sins a leader can commit. They blind our eyes to the truth of God and to the leading of His Spirit. Peter is suffering from the same disease that many leaders suffer from; he believed that he was the best choice to be the leader of the disciples and the church.
One of the things that I have learned in my time in ministry is that God doesn’t usually call the best qualified person to do important tasks. He often calls the less qualified and then empowers them to do more than they are able to do on their own. I have discovered over the years that God has regularly put me into roles that other men are better equipped to do than I am. But for reasons that only God can fully understand He has chosen me to do them. Peter was going to be the leader of the early church, but he needed to be humbled first. God used a slave girl around a fire in the courtyard of the High Priest to do it. I know that it is by God’s sovereign will that I have been called to the roles that I have. And I also know that it is by His mighty power that I am able to accomplish those roles. God doesn’t need you to be able; He needs you to be available. Jesus, teach us to serve you humbly and thankfully.