“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” Matthew 26:34
As I read Matthew 26:34, the idea of denying Jesus sent chills through my body. It made me question how I have denied Jesus myself. A sinner, just like Peter, someone who has witnessed miracles in her very own life, how have I resisted Jesus’s commands and teachings? If I am a professing Christian then I need to walk the walk. How have my actions said otherwise?
Before the last supper Jesus foretold Peter’s betrayal. Peter would be asked three times to own Jesus as his friend, confidant, leader. Peter, one of Jesus’s first disciples which only meant that he was with Jesus the longest, was able to see more, hear more of, and witness Jesus and his ministry.
When a servant girl asked Peter if he was with Jesus before his arrest in Luke 22:57b, Peter replies, “Woman, I do not know him.” When Peter was asked if he was a disciple he replied, “Man, I am not.” Luke 22:58b. Finally in Luke 22:59, when a man insisted that Peter was with Jesus and was a Galilean, Peter replied, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Within an hour, before the rooster crowed three times, in Jesus’s most vulnerable state, Peter denied knowing his Lord and savior.
How am I like Peter? Professing to be a Christian one minute but walking a different life the next?
Whatever it is that stands between Jesus and I must go. “Your kingdom come, Lord. My kingdom go.” It takes sacrifice, dying to self every single day. Making time and making room for God to work in and through my life. Building that strong foundation in Him and only Him, brick by brick. Allowing God to fill the deepest wounds, hurts, and emptiness, in my heart.
What is it that you think of when you first wake up in the morning? Do you reach for your phone, scroll through your social media posts, check on how many interactions you got? When the interactions aren’t there do you spiral into thoughts of being less than, not enough, not worthy? Let the rabbit hole commence. Spiraling thoughts of comparison, anxiety, unworthiness, overwhelm. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Those early morning thoughts tell us what we treasure. Is it notariety? Is it wealth or material things? Body image? The number on the scale?
Are you harboring bitterness from a past hurt? Holding others in a prison cell of unforgiveness and resentment? Girl, I promise you, if this is the case you need to let go. I’m not saying you shouldn’t process the pain because there is healing in that. What I am saying is, acknowledge it, process it, peel back the onion, layer by layer. What are the pain points in your circumstance, what hurts most and why? Are the words or actions that have been done to you true, noble, praiseworthy, kind? If not, they are not of God. Stand firm in the fact that the pain they caused you says more about their heart issue than yours, then release it, forever and ever, Amen. Forgiving seventy times seven. Humbling yourself and seeing others through the eyes of our Creator. Your persecutor…they are fully loved and created for a purpose just like you.
In Matthew 18:21, Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother. Seven, he asks? Jesus replies, seven times seventy. Are you like me? Pulling out your calculator to see just how many times you have to forgive someone? 490! I am pretty sure Jesus didn’t want to give us an exact number. We are to forgive over and over. Because, sister friend, that bitterness and resentment leaves scars, holes, and ick that you weren’t meant to carry. Forgiveness let’s the captive free and that captive is you.
Will you take some time today to ask God to reveal where you may be denying Jesus subconsciously? What are you holding onto that needs to be let go? What do you think of when you wake up in the morning? Where are your treasures? How can you position God as your number one priority today?
Will you pray with me?
Dear Heavenly Father,
I want you to be first and most in my life. Help to see where I have placed other priorities before you. Where is it that I continually deny You? Allow me to see pockets of time where I can make room for You, get into your word, and revel in your promises, truths, and sacrificial love. Reveal any bitterness or resentment that I may carry. Help me work through those hurts, process the pain, and remind me that forgiveness of those circumstances will only bring me peace and closeness to You. Your Kingdom come, Lord. My kingdom go. Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You. You first, Lord, in all that I do.
In Jesus’s name I pray,