This morning I get to go study God's Word with my Bible study girls! While preparing my lesson for today, I was so excited about what God was showing me from His Word. I always learn more from studying with others, hearing their perspective, and reinforcing what we discover by discussing it and celebrating it together. It's going to be sweet!
We've been using Kathy Howard's study Unshakeable Faith about the life of Peter, and I find I so identify with Peter. When Jesus told His disciples they would fall away when hardships came, Peter was the one whose heart overflowed with an emphatic, "No, Lord! Not me!" Maybe the others, he suggested, but not me. I hear Peter's heart, and it sounds too familiar. My spirit is so willing, but ...
Just a few verses later, Peter's flesh was so weak. No matter how "Fit" we are for our Faith physically, our heart must be yielded and humble. There's such strength in a yielded heart! Trials often expose our weaknesses, and it was just such a trial that exposed Peter's weak flesh. Trials expose our weak flesh, but trials also grow our faith.
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. (Mark 14:32-41 & emphasis mine)
Bold, unpredictable, passionate Peter. Like me, he had a willing spirit often matched by weak flesh. His trials exposed his weak flesh, but his trials also grew his faith.
Kathy Howard says,"Every difficult situation is also a time of testing." It's a chance to grow strength of heart and faith. Our body may be a physically fit tool for the Master's use, but without the strength of a yielded heart, we're far from being Fit 4Faith.
Are trials in your life exposing the weaknesses of your flesh? Me too. But the good news is that God can use that to grow our faith!
Tomorrow we'll look back and ahead at our 21 days of asking God to make us more "Fit 4Faith."