What would it take for you to be vigorously roused out of your spiritual slump? Perhaps, you need your life to be turned upside down so that you can get right side up and go forward in your faith. Or maybe you just need to allow yourself to be firmly taken hold of by Jesus Christ.
Like most of us, the Apostle Peter fluctuated with his walk of faith. Although he had a zealous passion and a strong conviction for Jesus Christ, he was noted to stumble, fall down, and leave his “Christ-path” momentarily. He needed to be shaken and stirred in order to move toward the destiny that the LORD had determined for his life. The question you need to ask yourself is, “Do I need to be shaken and stirred?”
“Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.” – John 18:27
A common man and fisherman by trade, Simon Peter was called to follow Christ. He was privy to information delivered directly by the Messiah, and he was positioned in the privileged inner circle surrounding Jesus. Often characterized by his impulsive and aggressive outspokenness, Peter was the disciple who vehemently denied knowing the Lord. After he denied Jesus, however, he had an emotional breakdown that affected him deeply. Filled with bitter regret and tearful sorrow, upon realizing that he had done the very thing he said he would never do, Peter went out and likely had to face himself in such a way that he never had before. He was shaken to the core.
Does that sound like you? Committed and faithful to Christ as long as all is going well, but missing in action when you are called to associate yourself with Christ among those in the world. Surely not. But if that is you – the emotionally distraught disciple who denies Christ and struggles with feelings of guilt and shame – never fear. The LORD can take your shakiness and woeful state and use it for His good, as well as your own. He can provide a faith-forward lesson from the ashes of your circumstance. He can take your life, like He did Peter’s, and stir it up for His glory.
“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: ‘Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.” – Acts 2:14
From the ashes of dismay, there arose and emboldened, transformed, and faithful servant, Simon Peter. No longer ashamed of his relationship, knowledge, and affiliation with Jesus Christ, Peter rose up and spoke boldly on behalf of the Savior who had turned his world upside down. In Acts 2, he took the lead in proclaiming the Gospel message to many peoples. Shaken and stirred, he was focused, grounded, and walking in faith toward his chosen destiny and determined purpose for God.
Does that mean that you can also rise from the ashes? Yes. Does that mean that God can still use you despite what you may have done or what you may have said? Yes. Does it mean you can be changed and transition from a state of shame to a state of fame (proclaiming Jesus Christ among men)? Yes! God can shake you up, stir up the gift that is within you, and move you forward on the faith path that leads toward Him, just like He did with Peter.
From time to time, you and I need to be shaken and stirred if we are to move forward in our purpose for God. We need to be moved, and we need to be handled. Aggressively or gently, it does not matter. What does matter is that we allow ourselves to be taken hold of completely by Jesus Christ. No more resistance. No more refusal. No more. Now is the time to be affected, effective, and driven with a faith-forward heart, attitude, and life.
Luke 22:54-62; Mark 14:27-31, 66-72; Matthew 26:51-52, 69-75; Luke 24:12; Matthew 28:16:20; John 21; Acts 2
Have you truly allowed Jesus Christ to take hold of you and change your life? Why or why not?