Sunday, March 17, 2013

Unbridled Passion

Oh, Peter... passionate Peter. A rush of emotion and he's off. He sooo wants to get it right and be approved.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.  John 21:7

 Something interesting struck me about this verse as I was reading it. This happens just days after Peter had denied Christ and knew he had failed. His unbridled passion took a vacation, just when he needed it most. AND YET... when John pointed Jesus out to him on the beach, Peter didn't waste another moment. He jumped out of the boat and made a bee line to Jesus.

Contrast that with the first man Adam. He was walking with God in a state of perfection. Until... When God reappeared, he didn't go running and throw himself into God's arms. Nope. He and his wife decided to hide from God instead. They knew they failed and they didn't want to admit it.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”  Gen 3:7-9

Peter had his eye opening moment too.

One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.  John 18:26-27
After Jesus warned him it would happen. After those three seemingly innocent denials. The rooster crows and Peter knows he let God down.

We are no different today. When we fall and fail we have the same choices. We can hide from God, refusing to admit we haven't gotten it right yet or we can passionately run to Him like Peter, trusting in His love for us. I think Peter ran to Jesus because he was filled with so much love for Jesus.

I can see some of myself in Peter. I am very passionate about some things. Sometimes our beliefs can get in the way of loving people the way God wants. Recently, I experienced my eye opening moment, when the rooster crowed and I saw how I had failed, in the very ways I was adamant about protecting. It hurt. I had a choice. I gathered up the pieces and wrapped them around me and ran straight to Jesus. He opened his arms of love, just like I knew He would.

I believe that running to Jesus breaks the cycle of the curse, while hiding simply lets it continue. The cycle can go on for generations. Peter broke the cycle and let Jesus use Him for greater things. He was still a man of unbridled passion, but now it was wrapped in humility and the personal experience of restoration.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matt 16:18

Adam chose to hide. God didn't love him any less, but I believe Adam lived his days ashamed and never really accepted the restoration of God. And so the curse cycle continued for generations.

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created  Gen 6:5-7

My fall brought me to a place of humility before the Lord, but also before my fellow humanity. I believe God has a greater purpose for me because I've experienced the restoring power of God.

Pursuing Christ with unbridled passion wrapped in restoration.

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