November 10, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:16
When we look within our lives, we find how often we cling to the walls "we" have built, to protect "our" resources of strength, abilities, and gifts. It would seem that after countless times of frustration and failure, we would realize...we cannot fight this battle of life victoriously in "our" strength.
Peter heard Jesus say, "Follow Me," and he answered the call. For three years he was fascinated, if not perplexed, with the teaching and ministry of Jesus. His natural personality was an arrogant, brash, self-sufficient, and independent fisherman. These traits erupt from Peter in the courtyard, when a young woman questioned Peter if he was not a follower of Jesus. His self-reliance was shattered, as he denied the Lord with oaths and cursing. One look from Jesus, as He was led out, broke Peter's heart, and he went out and wept bitter tears of repentance. Forgiven by God's grace, the scars of his fearful fall were embedded within his heart the rest of his life.
After the resurrection, Jesus says to Peter once again, "Follow Me." Now he takes up his cross and follows the Lord in "internal martyrdom" (John 21:18). When Jesus asked His disciples, "Whom say ye that I am?" Peter said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." What had happened to Peter? He had been awakened to the "enormity of his need," by ONE outside of himself. His arrogant independence was turned to confident trust in Jesus Christ.
Abraham had a similar experience after God called him. He went to Haran on his own initiative, in his own self-sufficiency, and stayed there until his father died. He spent 13 years of silence in which God did not appear or speak to him. Immediately, after he left Haran and began to walk in faith and trust God...God spoke, and His hand was upon him. Silent years of searching within, until his independence was destroyed, and relying upon "self" was gone. His heart was now "stayed upon Jehovah!"
Satan seeks to divert the focus of our lives from the plan and purpose of God. He uses anything and everything to "encumber" our lives with "useful and costly endeavor." He encourages us with the shallow pretense of others to keep us occupied with "our" involvements. We constantly need divine discernment to choose between what is "good" and that which is "best" and glorifying to God. Well might Jesus say to us, "Whom do you say that I am?" Our answer reveals if HE is on the throne of our life.
It is not until we come to the end of "ourselves" that we can enthrone Christ as the Lord of our life. But, it is then our "struggles and striving" from within become in reality, a "faith and trust" in the All-Sufficient One. It is no longer "I"...it is the Christ that lives within me. The "ruthless determination," motivated by self, is now resigned to "His leading and control." I cease "seeking and searching"...I now rest in "His calm and care." His Word becomes a "lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."
When Christ is the priority of our life, we begin to know a "peace that passes human understanding," a "joy unspeakable and full of glory," a "hope that does not make us ashamed," and a "freedom and liberty" from the bondage of our selfish lives...for CHRIST is now "enthroned" in His rightful place in our hearts!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-11-10
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