And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
Peter had made his profession of faith, "Thou art the Christ of God". Jesus had said to him, "You are all clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you." He was "saved" in the sense that by believing he had passed from death into life. Yet, he still needed to be "converted". He needed to "turn again", so that moving from a faith held in the natural man(natural strength, self assurance, pride) he might become as a little child. The adversary wanted Peter, seeing the crack in his soul, the flaw in his personality, his blindness to his true self. So Jesus was going to allow him to be "sifted". Perhaps the real beginning of that sifting was when the cocked crowed the second time as Peter denied knowing the Lord. All his illusions came crashing down. He discovered brokeness in the greatest surprise in his life as the "depths were laid bare" and Leviathan was pierced through.
Isa 27:1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
The disciples walked in the 'ERRS OF THE CALLED'. They called down fire from heaven on anyone who disagreed. They tried to stop the work of a deliverer from 'outside the camp'. They sought out seats at the Lord's right and left hand. They saw themselves riding at the fore of a great earthly vanguard and removing the Roman yoke from the neck of Israel. It was an experience that rocked their world and opened their eyes, the crucifixion of Jesus. They got the revelation they needed in that day."Of myself I can do nothing". After all, what do I have that I did not receive. The Lord chastises every son He receives, so that at some point they realize they have been given these great and precious promises, "that we might become partakers of the divine nature". Come, take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you shall find rest for your souls".
Ah, sweet rest, when I no longer need to prove to anyone who "I am" because "He is". My sufficiency, my righteousness, my deliverance, my strength. I don't want to look in the mirror and forget who I saw as I walk away- a man who cannot do anything right without being continually dependent on the Spirit of Christ.
Thank you my enemy, for the sifting that reminds me both how far I have to go, and how near my deliverer is.
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Every disciple moves from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to the tree of life as they learn "truth in the inward parts." The clanging cymbal begins to hurt the ears and the still small voice can finally lead and guide in "the way of life". Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will establish your paths. As long as the love of God is strangled by the "giant brain" of man- it really doesn't matter where you are. "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use(experience) have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil".
(Heb 5:14)"We have a wisdom we speak among the mature, the hidden wisdom" No one who wants to rule is entitled to this wisdom. It is for the broken and contrite of heart, the converted, the ones who have had soul and spirit, bone and marrow divided asunder. Rightly dividing the Word of truth is a futile enterprise unless we are also being "rightly divided".
And it will be said, "Build up, build up, prepare the way, Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people." For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite. "For I will not contend forever, Nor will I always be angry; For the spirit would grow faint before Me, And the breath of those whom I have made. "Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry and struck him; I hid My face and was angry, And he went on turning away, in the way of his heart. "I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners, Creating the praise of the lips. Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near," Says the LORD, "and I will heal him."
"Peter, do you agape me?"
"Well Lord, you know I phileo you".
"But Peter, do you agape me?"
"O Lord, you know, but I don't know anymore"
"Feed by sheep, strengthen the brethren"
"If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin"
Confess your faults, one to another, and pray for each other that you may be healed.