Talk about the two complete opposites of the other! If you don’t pray, then are you denying Him? With God, there isn’t any gray area. You’re either all in or not.
How often do we deny Christ? If you don’t submit or pray or feel conviction over sin, then EVERY SINGLE DAY.
So what about prayer? Why do we lament it one way or the other? Isn’t prayer our main priority as Christians? Jesus made a way for every believer to go to the Throne of Grace, “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom…” – so then, why don’t we use this blood-bought gift?
Anyway, while on the sidewalk today, I opened my Bible to Matthew 26: 36-46, “The Prayer in the Garden.” Imagine if you can, the Son of God praying as His disciples fight off SLEEP? That’s hard to wrap your mind around! They were wooed by spirits that sought their very souls, much less an hour they should have been praying. We give the enemy a whole lot of credit when we think the small things don’t matter.
I know you’re asking, “What would Peter do?” Peter talked big talk, not that he lied, but he still needed to learn and grow as a Christ follower. He wanted it all so badly that he spoke sooner than he should have, Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” [Matthew 26:31-35].
As Jesus prayed in vs. 36-45, you can see how the closest to Him began to stumble, to allow the enemy his foothold. This is JESUS! Who in their right mind would fall asleep??? Well, by allowing someone other than the Holy Spirit to guide us, even the very elect will stumble and fail:
- Our flesh is corruptible and appeals to familiar spirits, loves laziness and complacency
- The Spirit wills us, woos us, guides us, but never interferes with our ‘free will’.
- We are spiritually asleep even in the final hours of the most crucial time of our lives.
Peter was literally and spiritually in denial; we say and do the dumbest stuff. And sometimes if seems like it just falls out of our mouths with the teeniest bit of effort:
- After ‘sleeping’, Peter denied knowing Jesus
- It took THREE denials for Peter to ‘weep bitterly’
- Ultimately, it was Peter’s pride that was his undoing.
I’ll summarize this quickly: Peter claimed victory when he was not tested, Peter failed to ‘watch with Me’ and slept, Peter denied Him.
We are precariously close to denying Christ ALL THE TIME by denying Him in any situation.
Peter finally got the victory, he preached Christ crucified, and was a testimony to other believers. That’s pretty much the same thing every believer should do.