When they arrested Jesus and took him to the high priests house Peter followed at a distance. This man, who once said, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death” (Luke 22:33) was now distancing himself from his words. Peter, with good intent, made his boast, but the Lord knew he wasn’t as ready as he thought, he told him, no, Peter, tonight you will deny me three times. It’s good to believe in ourselves but we have to be ready for the Lord to test that. Romans 12:3 says, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.” Or, as Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations”.

Peter felt like he was ready, and he looked like he was as well. As he was there in the courtyard of the high priest’s house, “a servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, This man was with him” (Luke 22:56). We can seem so ready that even close examination says yes, but God sees deeper than we can.

It turned out that Peter wasn’t ready, and when the time of testing came, he failed. The Bible says, “He went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:60). No one likes to fail, but this one hurt Peter deep inside. The big strong fisherman didn’t stand up for his friend–that hurt.

Jesus would later restore Peter’s confidence and let him know that it was ok, it was supposed to go down that way. It took the craftsmanship of the Holy Spirit to get the inside, the character side, ready to stand the tests that were coming. Peter became the head of the Jerusalem church and didn’t fail his friend again. He lived up to his boast, Jesus I’ll to go to prison and die for you.

We don’t like failure either, it hurts. And while it’s an honor to work shoulder to shoulder with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we also have to be ready follow him wherever he goes. That’s where sober judgment comes in.

Men, don’t lose your ambition to serve, just develop an honest relationship with the Spirit of God so you can.


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