Summary: Satan can’t win unless you quit
Why quitting is not an option -
July 13, 2003
This morning we dealt with the spiritual side of being attacked by satan and our reactions determining the long lasting affects of those attacks.
Tonight I want to deal specifically with one of the reactions we have that creates the longest lasting success that satan can enjoy --
And that is quitting, or giving up.
There are two aspects of quiting that I want to share with you -
One is how it affects others,
And second is how it affects you.
Look at John chapter, begining with verse 1:1 (NIV):
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way:
(John 21:2 NIV) Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.
(John 21:3 NIV) "I’m going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We’ll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Now I want you to understand somethings about Peter.
He is a natural born leader,
I don’t know if it was his size, smarts, personality, or what --
But people were willing to follow Peter.
People looked to Peter as the thermometer of what should be done next.
If there was an unusual situation or circumstance that happened --
People looked to Peter to see how he would react -- and they would base their reactions on his.
Now sometimes this is a good thing -- natural leaders can be a good thing,
But sometimes it can be a bad thing -- sometimes it creates a problem --
If that leader is emotionally unstable, or has hidden issues, or is spiritually unreliable --
It can be a problem.
Peter had some issues, Peter wasn’t the "rock" his name implies.
He actually acted and reacted based more on how he felt than on anything else.
How many of you know that a leader doesn’t have the option of leading based on just feelings?
I have to confess there are times I would really like to sleep in on Sunday,
Or skip out and go to the lake some week-end
There are even times I would like to just stand up here and say "I didn’t feel like studying this week, so let’s just go eat pizza!"
But how many of you know that we wouldn’t have a church very long if I did those things?
Well, Peter was like that -- at least initially -- everything he said or did was based on feelings
Now, he was very close to Jesus
One of the inner circle of three that Jesus considered his close friends.
He experienced what most of the other disciples did not.
But I want you to see something --
Peter was so easily swayed by what he felt.
First -- Peter walked on water, honey ain’t nobody done that before or since!
Yet, he sank -- he couldn’t maintain it.
Then He is walking with Jesus, and as if by devine revelation he declares that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God.
But in only a few short verses -- he is rebuking Jesus,
And Jesus says "get behind me you devil" -
Then, Peter is with Jesus on the mountain top when there is a transfiguration --
Moses and Elijah and Jesus stand there glowing in there heavenly bodies --
Yet in minutes Peter has to be rebuked -- this time by God himself -- because Peter wants to build three musuems -- memorials to this glorious event.
Then Peter declares before all the disciples that he is willing to go to the cross with Jesus --
Yet within hours he denied Christ and cursed his name.
Then we have the text I read -- Peter quits completely.
No more discipleship, no more fishing for men, no more crusades, no more miracles,
That’s it -- it’s back to fishing.
But because Peter is the emotional thermometer for the rest of the disciples -- they all quit too.
Hear me -- the world says "if the one who supposedly knows Jesus the best can quit --
Then I don’t even need to try."
"If the one who has been around Jesus the longest says it’s over --
No need for me to even bother."
If the one who led me to Christ says it’s finished --
Then how can I make it?
Do we realize how much influence we have on people?
In just a few weeks I’m going to begin a series on the "power of influence"
I want us to see the impact we have, and the impact we could have.
But your reactions to the difficulties of life leave an impression on people around us.