Summary: Mark 14 Peter’s Spiritual Inventory- Six steps to Spiritual Denial and Renewal
Peter’s Spiritual Inventory
In less than twelve hours I went from someone who said, “Jesus I will never deny you” to someone who denied him three times. Over the course of my life I have looked back on it and I say, “How did that happen?” and by God’s grace, I have been allowed to look at my life and say, “Ah!” I can break down the steps that I took to deny my Lord Jesus.
There was a lot going on that night, I remember having been to several of the Passovers with Jesus but this Passover was different. It was just as crowded as usual when the city of Jerusalem swelled up from about 30,000 to about 300,000. There were all kinds of rumors going on but there was something about Jesus’ countenance that I just didn’t pick up on.
You see just a few hours before we walked into Jerusalem, Jesus had been describing to all of us and mostly he looked at me and He said, “This is what’s going to be happening to me,” but I wasn’t listening. I was so caught up with my own position before the Lord, my own position in Heaven. I was so caught up in who was the greatest among us that I just didn’t catch how sensitive and grieved the Lord’s heart was at the time.
Now I’m a fisherman and the first rule of fishing is to stay afloat in your boat. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I would wake up and walk outside to take a deep breath and smell the air to catch an understanding of the humidity. I’d then look up at the horizon and I see how many clouds there were and try to anticipate what kind of weather I’d be facing as a fisherman that day. If there were real stormy weather coming I would command all my helpers and my brothers, that were also fisherman, to pull back some of the floorboards of the boat and put some more rocks down in the under the keel to make sure that below the water line, where no one else would see, that’s where the real weight would be so that when the wind blew against our sailboat it wouldn’t tip over.
Of course, on days when the weather was great, we really didn’t like lugging all those rocks so we’d take some out. But like any good fisherman, you sensed the weather. I didn’t sense it spiritually because my heart was really not with the Lord. Had I really been listening to Jesus, had I really understood what He meant when He said, “I am going to the cross,” I would have pulled back the floorboards of my life and I would have put many, many more rocks below the waterline so when the winds of Satan blew against me with temptations – I would keep righting I would keep coming back up instead of capsizing. But I didn’t do that. I was so caught up in my own pride, in my own self that I just didn’t get it.
I have asked myself a thousand times, how can I go in less than 12 hours from “I would never deny you,” to some little servant girl comes up, looks under my hood, and with curses so easily deny Jesus. It didn’t just happen! I never intended it. You’re young leaders, ministers. You have a heart for Jesus and a passion for the lost just like Jesus taught me. If there is one person here that thinks you got it together and within a 12 hour period of time you could not go from loving Christ to denying Christ, think again. Because I’m here to tell you that’s exactly what happened in my life and you would be wise as young leaders to really understand the process that I went through in the process of denying my Lord Jesus Christ. Some of us in this very room are caught up in that same process and at any moment each of us is only one decision away from denying Jesus Christ, and that’s scary.
I remember that night. I remember going up to that upper room, that rented room, and I remember going up there with Jesus and all the others and after a splendid meal I remember Jesus doing something, (he was always the master teacher), I remember him always taking physical elements to show us a spiritual reality. That night I remember him taking bread, “this is my body broken for you...” I didn’t understand what that meant at the time but I should have been listening. “This is my body broken for you eat of it.” Then he took a glass of wine, “this is my blood shed for you drink all of it.” I remember him whispering something to Judas and he leaned over and I didn’t understand what was going on but Judas went into the night and we didn’t know what was going on but I should have understood what was going on but I didn’t.