Monday, April 18, 2022

The Enemy’s Fire

Monday, April 18, 2022 Some Material taken from The Two Fires Part 1

Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now, the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself…

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed. John 18:15-18; 25-27

The Enemy’s Fire 

In our Easter service we heard the amazing story of the last time Peter interacted with Jesus before He was crucified. The events of the story happen between two fires – the enemy’s fire, and the Saviors fire. It is a story that every one of us can relate to – whether we admit it or not. It is a story of betrayal and failure, but more than that, it is a story of grace and redemption. That is what Easter is                                        all about – grace and redemption. 

Self Confidence Instead of Humility – Peter told Jesus that even if others would turn their back on Him, he never would. Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Matthew 26:33 In his pride, Peter said he would never deny Jesus. We all those things we say we would never do. Satan loves it when we say that – and he waits. The minute we cross the line we say we will never cross, he is right there cheering us on. He takes advantage of our weaknesses and helps us along the way down. 

Sleeping Instead of Praying – When the Lord asked Peter to pray with Him before His arrest, Peter wasn’t praying. And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Peter fell asleep when Jesus asked him to pray. Matthew 26:40 (ESV)

A very heartbreaking truth is this: pride and prayerlessness go hand in hand. – Sam Nobles

Pride can make us think that we have it all together, but pride is the root of many sins. It can make us secure in our own ability when the truth is that the only way we can ever make it in this life is in the power of Jesus Christ. Pride tells us that we should be able to fix our own problems - to take control of our lives and get it straightened out. Pride keeps us from calling out and depending on the power of God in our lives. 

Prayer is communication. It is our direct line to God, and when the lines of communication are cut, the enemy can get the upper hand very fast. Prayer is also for our protection. Peter discovered how true this is as his life began to unravel.

Action Instead Of Devotion – Peter fell asleep and then was startled awake to find a whole army and the High Priest in front of him. They were looking for Jesus and His disciples. Peter realized that he had failed Jesus by falling asleep so he thought the next best thing would be to cut off the ear of the High Priest’s servant. Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. John 18:10 (ESV) Peter was counting on his actions making up for his lack of devotion. We can be guilty of that too. We do all the things and think that makes us good enough, but the truth is that Jesus does not want action, He wants a relationship with us. Then He wants actions that are a result of that relationship, not a substitute. 

The Enemy’s Fire Instead of the Savior’s Promise – Finally Peter found himself by the first of two important charcoal fires. The servants and officers make the fire and were warming themselves, so Peter decided to join them. These were the very ones that were about to sentence Jesus to crucifixion.  – Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. John 18:18 (ESV)

The enemy’s fire is a dangerous place. It beckons with warmth, but burns with sin, and worse – separation from God. It will never satisfy and will cause conflict and chaos in our hearts, because our hearts belong to God. It deceives us into thinking we are safe, but we are never safe there. 

Finally, it was the enemies fire where Peter took a nosedive straight into his betrayal of Jesus. Three times he was asked, by three different people if he knew Jesus or was one of His disciples, and three times he said no. And then he heard the rooster crow and he wept bitterly. 

At that very moment, Peter’s eyes locked with Jesus. It was the kind of look that cuts right to your soul. The kind that means that person knows what is going on inside your heart. Peter felt shame, and the shame you feel when you know you have done something wrong to someone else and then you find yourself face to face with them. Peter felt shame, but that was not what was being reflected in Jesus eyes. There was no condemnation, but compassion. There was no judgement, but only mercy. There was no disappointment, but only grace. 

Jesus looks at us in our sin the same way He looks, with love, compassion, grace, and mercy. No condemnation, no judgement, no disappointment. He looks at us with the love of a Father who adores His sons and daughters. 

If you think you have done something so terrible that Jesus would never want to even look at you again, then get this message - there is nothing you can do to earn the favor of God (It is freely given to all) and there is nothing you can do that will make Him stop loving you. Don’t look away. Instead, look straight into His grace filled eyes.

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