– GUEST BLOGGER Paul Treloar
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” As this new year begins today, and as many return to a regular schedule again, God spoke to my heart about commitments I’ve made for this year. All of us have made statements such as how much weight we’ll lose, changes in diet, speech or behavior or a change of friends, schedule or activity. No matter what it was, or is, unless we fully commit ourselves to change, we will fall back at the first sign of adversity.
I’ve failed at changes I know I needed to make because I left an escape hatch to my old ways. I never really left them. I knew I needed to change, I even wanted the change. But I left room that at the first sign of trouble or adversity, I could have my comfortability restored.
Spiritual transformation, not just change, can only happen when you and I get ‘all in’. In our text, Jesus came to the twelve men that were left and said will you also walk away? Peter’s response can be ours today if we embrace the truth of what he shared.
A full, ‘all in’ commitment can only be successful when you and I close off all other paths back to the ‘old life’ and old ways. For some, that commitment must be accompanied with a cry for help with the strongholds that hold us and keep us from truly turning with all our heart.
My life was narrowed to a spiritual choice that had great physical consequences. If I did not stop my drinking and drug abuse, I was on a sure path to an early grave. God loves each and every one of us enough to bring us to that decision point. Mine was made clear after a car accident that could have easily taken my life and the life of the one traveling with me.
Peter and the other disciples with him knew that to follow Jesus meant that they would be cast out of the synagogue and labeled heretics. In a society that operated closely with the accepted religion of the day, it meant an irreversible choice; a life decision whose consequences meant everything.
Hear Peter’s words… “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” For Peter and those with them, it wasn’t just a change in the societal status, it had eternal consequences for them. The weight of our decisions can alter our path so significantly that often we don’t see the results until it’s too late.
Faith, more specifically, faith in the God of the bible, can only stay alive and growing when I continually commit unreservedly to the path that God is leading and guiding me to go. Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Commitment of eternal weight such as this, means I no longer trust what I see I can do, but place my faith in what God can do. His promises are written boldly, and plainly for all to see. They are unchangeable and come from One whose character and commitment to us is unwavering.
A promise is only as good as the one who makes it. My faith in the eternal God of Heaven comes when I see Him as He is; worthy of ALL my trust, ALL my heart and ALL my life! Peter and the disciples with him, saw Jesus as the promised Messiah. A half-hearted commitment is no commitment at all.
Mark it down… Your choice to change will be challenged. It will be tried… Even to the point where you feel it may break you. Take heart and be of good courage! Many have gone this way and have not only survived but thrived in the decision to fully, wholly and totally commit!