(Today's post by Marc Cannon)
I struggle, a lot, with a lot of things. Some of them are well documented in this blog and are all stamped on my sleeve for all to see, most of the time. But what is interesting to me is that those are the things that hinder me the most and I usually choose to ignore, accept or just endure the things I struggle with, even though they may hinder my life, a relationship and or my walk with Jesus. I’m typically not judgmental about those who are believers who struggle with similar issues as well. If I can relate, I don’t mind helping or counseling those who need it. I love to lead people with sin issues or hardships closer to the Lord. In fact, I think it’s a spiritual gift that I’ve been given and I enjoy doing so. But when I think about it I don’t look at that a lot from other believers (For myself). As I’ve read this scripture and studied over it I was poked in the eye and it hurt. The reality is that I’m a lot like Peter. Hard headed!
You see, Jesus asked Simon Peter if he loved Him 3 times. Each time He was asking him if he truly loved Him above all else. Jesus even rattles Peter’s cabbage here a little bit when he said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me”, telling Peter, in essence…”Let’s worry about you and no one else, okay…”
I worry a lot about my fellow believers, my family and friends’ salvation and spiritual health. I truly do. In fact I worry an awful lot about the every day person’s salvation that don’t know…Are they lost? Are they following Jesus? Are they believers who are struggling in their walk? But you know what…I worry more about them than my own relationship with Him. I’m not saying it’s wrong to put people ahead of yourself or to want your friends, family and communities to have a fulfilling relationship with Jesus. What I’m saying is that our spiritual health and our relationship should come first in our own lives. I don’t know if I’m the only person who deals with this sort of thing from time to time but I’m betting I’m not. Just being candid, I place people ahead of myself so I don’t have to deal WITH myself. Make sense? Sound familiar?
Jesus asks us to follow Him first and to place Him as the center point in our lives. Not focusing on that first and foremost causes us to falter in our walk. Hording our sin issues, our character flaws makes it hard to trust; hard to follow. Let Him have those! If you struggle like I do at times, seek a brother to hold you accountable or that will just listen to you and pray with you! If you a hard headed like Paul, full of pride, let the Lord hold onto that pride for you!
My prayer for each of us today is that we make sure that Jesus is center of our lives. I pray that, no matter your struggle you can relinquish that to Him. I pray that each of us realizes that following Jesus gives us the opportunity to make a world changing eternal impact, just as Peter.