Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Sifted & Shifted

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31)

I think this shall by my theme verse for the past few months. You have Jesus, sitting at a table with his closest friends, u have arguing over who is the greatest amongst the disciples, and then you have Peter. Peter told Jesus that he would basically do anything for Him, he would go to prison with him and he would also die for Him. Jesus replies with the above verse. Anytime in the Bible when God really wanted someone to hear something, He would say their name twice, "Moses Moses" "Abraham Abraham" "Saul Saul"...and now Jesus does it with Peter by calling him "Simon Simon." It's neat that Jesus uses Peter's old name and not his new name. Some people think that Jesus was trying to talk about the "Old Man" in Peter, his flesh. Boy can I hear this.

To think that Jesus, in His quiet times with God the father, actually prayed for Peter by name. And not only prayed for Peter, but prayed for what Peter would do once he got his heart back in the right place. That's love, care, and many more adjectives if I knew more vocabulary.

I feel a lot like Peter right now in my own life. It's tough going from a place where you are surrounded by believers and constant encouragement to a place in your life where you have to go out and find it. I'm not saying that I don't have friends that encourage me, I surely do and I'm thankful. It seems that we get comfortable with our faith and our life and we set ourselves up for disaster, spiritually, and sometimes physically. I can honestly say that the best times in my life have been when I have been tight with the Lord. Those times that you will literally do anything for Him, regardless of how stupid you look. I really miss that. I've been sifted, and even more than that, I feel like I've been run over by a huge John Deere. The most messed up thing about being in a spiritual slump is that other people suffer. There are probably countless times that I could have encouraged people and helped, and I missed out because I'm not seeking the Lord daily. Jesus wanted Peter to go out and help others, to build the church, how I have failed. It's easy to remember Grace and how awesome it is, but you still can't help but to be mad at yourself for wasted time of growth.

It was pouring rain today and again, I don't have the top on my Jeep. I'm getting used to rain beating me in the face. Well it started pouring today so I pulled into a carwash bay to wait it out. I get upset sometimes when my friends make bad choices and feel like they are settling, you want to pick them up and shake them. You want the best for them, of course, they are your friends. The Lord started speaking to me in my heart and showing me how He wanted me to come back, He wanted me to make the right choices. He wanted me to stop living my mediocre life. I never want to settle. The word settle must have originated in the pit because it is the worst word. Never settle for anything, anyone and whatever else fits here. Live the biggest life you can live and serve the most people you can serve. We have all eternity to praise God but we only have this earth to tell people about Him. My fingers are about as heavy as my eyes right now, so nitey, whoever reads this. :)

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