Jesus taught In Luke 9:23-24 that if anyone wanted to follow Him they must deny them self and that whoever wanted to save their life must lose it and lose it for His sake.
These types of passages roll off the tongues of many followers so easy and we say yes of course and amen to theses verses, and yet many seem completely oblivious to the fact that none of us can deny the god of self or lose our life for His sake, until the root of self has been dealt to.
Just because we may start doing things differently and living differently, being fully committed to works for Christ, doesn’t mean we are denying self or not loving our lives.
Peter said he had left everything to follow Jesus and yet what in fact did Peter actually leave and what didn’t he leave behind. Peter’s external life was changing but his internal life hadn’t changed one iota. He swapped a boat, his nets and the sea for inland activity. He was no longer going to be a fisher of fish and his new mission was to become a fisher of men. His physical environment would change and yet Peter was the same man on the inside.
Because Peter had the root of self still living within him when confronted as to whether he knew Jesus or not, he denied knowing Jesus and being with Him. This is the man who walked on water.
This is an absolute contradiction to what he had just declared, in saying he would go to his death with Christ.
Peter still loved his own life more than the love he professed for Christ. He was found out through the pressure test and his hypocrisy and pride were exposed.
Peter professed something he couldn’t live out. He had to come to the realisation of this before he could truly repent and discover the life that Jesus had predestined for him.
We are no different.
The prerequisite for following Jesus of denying self and no longer living for self, can only be accomplished by wholehearted surrender to Christ.
Jesus will walk us through this deep inner work of repentance if we will allow Him and lead us into life.
We may find ourselves being committed like Peter, but how surrendered are we to Christ?
Food for thought!