(1Peter 5:6-10, Matthew 16:22-26, Matthew 26:33-41, John 18:10-11, Matthew 26:69-74, John 21:17)
Until the Holy Spirit came upon Peter, his life’s journey was punctuated by the manifestation of the power of flesh. Even though it seemed he forsook all to followed Jesus, there was this issue with self-righteousness, self-will, self-justification etc. His declaration of giving all to serve Jesus was in the strength of these qualities of flesh. To a large extent, he was always propelled by the zeal and eagerness influenced by self (flesh). Most of his deeds was by the strength of flesh. Even loving Christ was because of the great wonders he saw Jesus do.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken
By the time he saw Jesus arrested effortlessly he fled. After his restoration at Jesus’ trial the flesh in him still longed for returning to the path he once professed to have forsaken. That was the way out flesh gave him to follow.
After this, Jesus appeared to him at the sea of Tiberia, questioning him if he loved the Lord more than all of the things he longed for. To Peter, he had given his best and all to the Lord. This made him to quickly respond “yes Lord, I love You”. He finally submitted the self (flesh) in him, which he had carried around for about three and half years with the Lord. He must have remembered how he denied the Lord. He must have realized that truly his spirit loved Christ but his flesh could not bear the burden of loving Him and had to deny Christ. He must have realized now that he needed the Lord’s help for his weak flesh.
The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.
His love that picked a sword to fight against Jesus’ arrest could not stay with him but to vehemently swear that he did not know Jesus. This is who we are! This is our true picture!
Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh:
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak
All endeavor from flesh is like a filthy rag before the Lord. When he realized how his flesh has failed him, he submitted to the Lord completely. The King of glory gave him victory over the flesh and indeed he became a new creation. The battle of self would have destroyed Peter completely. Peter’s mission before God might have been aborted and his work given to another person.
God did not design human’s flesh to rule over man. By His design, He equipped man with His own divine Spirit for man’s flesh to be in subjection until man fell. The connection with God’s Spirit was severed by man’s fall. There and then the flesh took the lead. What should be led became the one leading. So, the blind flesh began to lead the fallen man. That was the begin of men’s woe.
We know how much our flesh has failed us before the Lord. How flesh led us to do what we were not supposed to do. Let us go to the Lord, submitting to Him totally. Do not rely on your strength, wisdom, profession, knowledge etc. Come to the Lord’s waiting arm. Cry to Him to give you victory over self (flesh). Call on Him to help you as He helped Peter.
1) Lord Jesus, thank you for your mercy that did not give up on me.
2) Father, however the flesh has led me away from You, restore me with Your arm of grace as You restored Peter, in Jesus name.
3) Lord, fill me with Your love that overcomes the will and power of flesh, in Jesus name.
4) God the Holy Spirit, I submit to You, take control of my heart and life wholly, in Jesus name.
5) Lord, by Your great mercy and grace, fill me with Your Spirit of steadfastness, in Jesus name.