“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” But he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” And He said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me” (Luke 22:31-34 NASB)
God, the Father, has granted Satan’s request to sift Peter like wheat. But Jesus intercedes for Peter, which is Jesus’ role after His ascension. Awesome! With Jesus interceding, Peter can’t fail, right? Well, not exactly. In fact Jesus doesn’t even pray that Peter won’t fail. How is that even possible? Doesn’t Jesus want Peter to succeed? And I think we would agree that, of course, Jesus wants Peter to succeed. So why didn’t Jesus pray that Peter would succeed? Trick question alert! If you look at the wording above, you see that Jesus did pray for Peter to succeed.
Jesus didn’t pray that Peter wouldn’t deny Him. He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. In other words, the definition we have of failure was different than Jesus’. Success as Jesus defined it wasn’t that Peter never make a mistake, but that Peter never let a mistake keep him from Jesus. That’s an important distinction. Isn’t it true that when we think our mistakes are failures to Jesus that we also think our relationship with Him is dependent upon us? But when we continually repent of our mistakes, our relationship with Jesus remains dependent upon Him; it’s no longer based on our success rate.
This is proven when Peter declares his unwavering support to Jesus, and Jesus responds predicting Peter’s denial. Jesus knew of Peter’s denial, and prayed that his faith would not fail. And what Jesus meant by unfailing faith is found in His continuation, “…and when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Success for Jesus is Peter’s repentance back to leading his fellow disciples; his return to his calling.
So, success for me in my walk with Jesus is repentance from my mistakes back to my calling in His service. It is Satan who wants my mistakes to define me. Only the enemy of my soul has a vested interest in using my mistakes to distract me from my Master’s call on my life. And when I give in to such distractions, I deny my dependence upon my Master for my relationship with Him. What is true is that I am Matthew Scott Brumage, son of Lloyd, Knight of the Realm, Servant of the King, and that He loves me, He has my back, and I am at His service; and He has called me to wait, worship, and walk before Him. That is what is true about me.
So, what is your view through your knothole this morning?