Two of Jesus’ twelve apostles caused Him more grief than all the others put together. The first was Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. The second was Peter, who loved him.
Peter denied Jesus—thrice. He was as human as any of us, full of faults, weaknesses and doubts.
When Jesus walked on water, Peter wanted some of the action too. And he did actually walk on water before his doubts got the better of him. How many of us are like that? We ask God to help us accomplish our goals, and He does. But then we lose confidence in Him and start sinking. And yet, like a loving father, God reaches out His hand and pulls us out of the mess we so often get ourselves into. And He does it time and again, regardless of whether or not we perceive it and thank Him.
Peter was also confrontational. He caused Jesus, who had called him “the rock I will build my church on,” to rebuke him a little later saying “get behind me, Satan.” (Matthew 16:18-23). How many of us are like that? We think we have it all figured out. When God wants to do something for us His way, which is always perfect, we confront Him because we want it done our way. We do this despite knowing deep inside that God’s wisdom is several billion times more profound than our narrow insight, and that He has our best interests at heart. How many of us take comfort in just knowing that?
Yes, in many ways, we are like Peter, who reneged on his promise to stay true until the end and denied Jesus.
And yet, when Jesus restored him after the Resurrection, this same Peter became a man on fire. Peter had fallen too many times. He regretted it and yearned to do things differently. This time around he would not fail. This time around he would not be held back. This time around he had his mind on things of God. Peter was on a mission, and come hell or high water, none would stand in his way.
And what did Peter accomplish with that zeal burning in his heart? The Book of Acts says people would be healed as soon as his shadow fell on them. (Acts 5:15,16) Can you imagine that? Can you comprehend that level of grace and holiness? This is Peter we are talking about here, a man just like any other man. This is Peter, the denier, the doubter, the runaway—this is us we are looking at.
Peter’s shadow healed people!!! Just rest in that for a while.
What does this tell you? What does this mean? It means if Peter could reach that level of holiness, then we can too.
Yes! If you really love God and commit your life to Him, you too can become a miracle-worker. You will walk by and people will be healed. You will command the clouds and the winds and they will obey. You will make things happen with a word—by simply wishing it. People will perceive the love of God flowing through you when you speak. Quarrelsome, angry people will suddenly become docile in your presence. Lions and snakes—even the actual ones—will start feeling peaceful and happy when you are around. It may be snowing outside, but in your house, there will be sunshine. All things are possible with God. (Matthew 19:26) But first, God must indwell in you.
Let me make it easier for you to comprehend my point. Consider this hypothesis: You want to buy a fast car. You walk into the office of the CEO of a sports car company and ask him to help you pay for it. What are the chances he’ll agree? Zero, right? Chances are you would get kicked out at the same speed those cars travel at. But hold on for a second. What if you were the CEO’s son? What then? It goes without saying that you would get a sanction ASAP. No questions asked.
Because relationship matters, you see.
In the same way, if your one-to-one relationship with God is that strong, ask for anything and it will be given to you—possibly even before you are done with the asking. (Read John 14:12-14).
So it is all up to you, you see. Our Heavenly Father is a prayer-answering God. If your prayers are not getting answered, sit down in your closet and ask why? More often than not, our own iniquities and sins form a wall separating us from our Creator. Like the book of Isaiah says: “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1,2)
If that is the case, it is about time you start tearing that wall down. The grass is undeniably greener on the other side and you don’t want to miss it.
Know this: It is possible for all of us to rise to new heights, just as Peter did. And the best part is God wants that too. The most powerful force in the cosmos is on our side, an eager ally more than willing to help us. All we have to do is say, “Yes! So be it, Lord. Let it be done unto me according to Your holy and perfect will.”