Today's Devotional Thought
January 06, 2012 by Rachel Piferi
Not Ready Yet
Do you have big plans for 2012? Do you have plans to grow in some area of your life? Maybe you want to get healthier, manage your money better, become more steadfast in your devotions, or devote more time to your family or marriage. Or maybe you have a big goal that you are pursuing and you are just so eager to get started, but there is some planning to do first. Or maybe you are feeling like what you want to pursue, you just can't pursue yet due to financial, emotional, or other responsibilities that make you wait to pursue your goal. We're all so eager to start new things in the New Year. But, what do you do when you can't start your plans quite yet?
If you look at today's passage in John, we see a characteristically impulsive and excited Peter telling Jesus that he is ready to go! Like we see often throughout the gospels, Peter comes across as very excitable, impulsive, bold, and convicted. And in this passage and others, we see him as one of the most outspoken disciples who often confidently states his allegiance to Jesus. However, in today's scripture, after Peter states with characteristic confidence that he would follow Jesus anywhere and even die for him, we see that Jesus slows him down. In fact, Jesus starts by saying that where He is going, Peter can't go right now, but he will follow later. And then, Jesus disputes Peter's claim of allegiance by predicting to him that he will deny him soon.
This is not uncommon, because throughout the gospels, we see several moments in Peter's life of wavering faith and allegiance, despite his vehement claims (i.e. sinking as he is walking on water to Jesus, denial of Jesus at the crucifixion). Peter oftentimes spoke loudly, but waivered when it was time to act.
So, what can we learn from this passage?
First, we see Jesus slowing Peter down. Peter is very excited and Jesus tells him that he can't go now, but he will go later. Jesus also shows him that he's not as ready as he thinks he is by pointing out that he'll deny him soon. This was probably a little disappointing and confusing to Peter. But, guess what?
Peter wasn't ready yet.
He was still growing into the man that we see in Acts.
If you compare the Peter of the Gospels to the Peter depicted in Acts, you see a difference. In contrast to the gospels, in Acts we see a Peter who is courageous, ready to go to prison and to death, and who boldly preaches about Jesus. We see someone who is not merely talking big as he was in the Gospels, but actually following through on what he boldly claims.
So, what happened to Peter? It's simple. He grew and he matured with the Holy Spirit. God did amazing things with Peter. It started with him being willing and excited and it ended with a man who had been sharpened, matured, and developed by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. And, it took time. When Peter thought he was ready, he wasn't fully yet.
Are you excited about 2012 and ready to get started on your plans? But, do you feel like something is keeping you from fully executing those plans or that there is a little more preparation that needs to be done before you are ready to go? Ask the Lord to continue to sharpen you and mature you as you patiently wait so that you are ready to fully enact those plans that the Lord has for you when the time comes. Become the Peter of Acts. Someone who is mature and bold and fully convicted to behave according to the plans God had for him. But, realize that there may be some preparation that still needs to be done and that God may be slowing you down a little to get you fully ready to do the great things he has in store for you. God may be saying, "You're not ready yet."