Read Mark 14:26-31.
Devotion by: Robert Leatherwood
Foretelling Peter’s Denials
Was Peter sincerely telling the truth when he said to Jesus, "I am ready to die for you"? What do you think, did he mean it? Less than ten hours later he had denied Christ three times. How did it happen? Why did it happen? Are we doomed to fail, regardless of how sincere we are? Can we possibly do any better than Peter did? All the disciples made a similar vow, and all forsook Jesus at the moment of tribulation. Is there any chance for any of us to overcome temptation?
Sincerity alone will not save you. Why did this happen? Peter was relying on his strength, on his willpower, on his resolve. He was relying on the sincerity of his commitment. End result: triple failure.
The only remedy that seems reasonable is that we humbly ask God for His power and His deliverance and admit our inadequacies in strength, wisdom, and willpower. We must fully surrender to His Lordship. We must embrace our weakness as a continual reminder of our dependency upon God. And we must use our weakness as a prompt to cry out to God for His power to flow through our lives. We just cannot depend on our strength, ingenuity, resolve or sincerity. It is the glory of God to deliver us from evil and temptation.
Paul taught us about God's purpose for our weaknesses when he declared his inadequacy to overcome his problem "thorn in the flesh." It was agitating him. He believed that his “thorny” weakness was thwarting his spiritual impact. He even concluded it was Satan using this inadequacy, this weakness, to destroy his effectiveness. But the Lord's reply solves the dilemma of his weakness and offers the source of power for victory, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” God sovereignly showcases our weakness for His greater glory. If we will depend on Him in humility, He delights to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts fully trust in Him.
The prophet Zechariah speaks to this issue when he writes, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the Lord of Hosts (Zechariah 4:6).
Jeremiah makes God's glory the clear issue; it is His strength, not ours. He writes, “Thus says the Lord, 'Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight,' declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Paul seems to write the clincher on this when he wrote, “God chose the weak things of the world ... and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God … God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit, God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, 'If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord'" (1 Corinthians 1:27–31).
Therefore let us humbly admit our personal weakness and ask God for His deliverance. Promise now to give God the glory when the victory comes, and you will see the power of God manifest through your weakness.