Relying on God’s Power


    Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of me this very night, for it is written:  ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’  But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”  Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.”  Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you that this very night, before the rooster crows, you shall deny me three times.”  Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you” (Mathew 26: 31-35.)


   After rejecting Christ’s prophecy, Peter vainly exalted himself above the other disciples, saying, “Even if all are made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.”  Despite his best efforts, he would go on to deny the Lord three times before morning.  To strengthen His followers, Jesus promised to eventually send a replacement; and after his resurrection and ascension, he fulfilled His commitment. On the day of Pentecost, the disciples received the Holy Spirit.  Immediately after receiving God’s Spirit, Peter’s zeal was restored; prompting him to enter a crowded temple and boldly preach the gospel.  Leaning on his own strength, Peter had denied Christ three times; but relying on God’s power, he proclaimed Christ without fear.  Peter would go on to endure beatings, imprisonment, and even death for spreading Christ’s message.

   Peter shares his experience of divine empowerment with some other notable men of the bible.  While the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt, a young Hebrew man named Moses believed it was his destiny to free his people.  One day he observed an Egyptian taskmaster beating one of his countrymen.  Filled with rage and a sense of duty, he killed the Egyptian.  In an effort to conceal his crime, he buried the body beneath the sand.  However, the body was quickly discovered, and a few days later, Moses’ life was in jeopardy.  Defeated and alone, he fled to the desert and became a shepherd; caring for livestock for decades.  At approximately 80 years old, God appeared to him and instructed him to return to Egypt to free his people.  He responded by proclaiming to God that he wasn’t ‘the right man for the job.’  He no longer believed he was capable of accomplishing the task.  A previously prideful and self-reliant young man had become an old man who realized his own weakness (apart from God); he was finally ready to be used by the Lord.  Relying on his own power, the young Moses hadn’t been able to bury even a single Egyptian.  But the mature Moses, utilizing God’s power, led his enslaved nation to freedom, and buried the entire Egyptian army beneath the waves of the red sea.

    Western culture often promotes self-reliance; but in divine culture reliance upon God is paramount.  Is there anything in your life that you are trying to accomplish on your own?  Are you struggling to endure a difficult trial unaided?  Our best efforts will never rival the works of God.  No matter how large the obstacle, or how great the need, if we humble ourselves, we can harness the power of the one true and living God. Only then will we be able to say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4: 13.)

   “Lord Heavenly Father, You are an awesome and amazing God. Apart from You we are weak and insufficient.  Become our strength, that we might rely upon You instead of ourselves.  Give us victory over the things that cause us to stumble. Help us to stand firm, to endure, and to overcome.  May our hearts be humble and our lives filled with joy.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

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