There once lived a man named Peter.
Often with foot-in-mouth disease.
And one thing I give Peter credit for, he was convinced of the kind of person he was. He knew he was absolutely loyal to Jesus and could never be swayed by political powers or temple guards. And he told Jesus such when Jesus warned him the night of His arrest. He knew with completely certainty that no matter what pressure they faced he would never hesitate to stand with Jesus – “Even if all are made to stumble [caused to take offense] because of You, I will never be made to stumble” (Matthew 26:33).
That’s a powerful statement.
Not at any time.
Never at all.
No matter what.
Despite the pressure, persecution, and panic.
And he was so wrong. As he realized later that night.
But until that rooster crowed, Peter was absolutely convinced he was right. And again, I give him credit for that.
Because it’s easy to “know” who we are when things are going well. When things are easy. When things are smooth. When things are calm.
But what about when things are not going well? When things are hard? When things are choppy and chaotic and confusing?
Are you doing the same-old-same-old routine?
Are you running back to the same-old known place of comfort?
Are you repeating the same unchanging rote prayer?
Or are you looking for new ways?
Jesus is asking us to think outside of our box and consider all the possibilities. He is challenging us to not get stuck where we are … but instead to think differently. Act differently. Pray differently. See differently. Trust differently.
Because in the routine …
We rarely find the best Jesus has for us.
We rarely receive the grace Jesus has for us.
We rarely grow into the new season and new revelation Jesus has for us.
He’s calling us out of the routine and into the unknown.
He’s calling us to experience more of His grace.
He’s calling us to receive more of His love.
He’s calling us to know more of His power.
He’s calling us to feel more of His hope.
More … because we are willing to be different.
It’s what He called Peter to on the beach after His resurrection. He gave Peter a chance to repent of his denials and restore his life back to its original purpose. And it started by asking him one life-changing question: “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” (John 21:15)
Peter, do you love Me …
More than your reputation?
More than your life?
More than what I call your friends to do?
More than your regret?
More than your shame?
More than your fear?
More than the powers of Rome?
More than your fear of the priests?
Are you willing to love Me – and therefore follow Me – into the unknown tomorrow…
Doing differently than you have been?
Thinking differently than you have been?
Trusting differently than you have been?
Speaking differently than you have been?
Stepping into the role of leader instead of follower.
Being seen instead of being in the shadows.
Putting your life in the spotlight – and disapproval – of the political powers around you.
Giving your fellow man an example of grace and encouragement of hope.
Because your life is about to radically change. Peter, it is going to be that great thing I promised you. But it is going to require something from you – the choice to be different. To be bold. To be radical. To be fearless.
And now Jesus is asking you the same question – are you willing to love Me enough to be different?
Because doing the same things will never produce a new response.
Same produces getting stuck.
Same produces becoming stale.
Same produces being static.
When what we want is new. Bold. Outrageous. Different.
We want a new response.
We want a new reaction.
We want a new rhythm.
We want to offer more of ourselves to Jesus … and receive more of Jesus into our lives.
And it all starts by doing things differently.
Thinking different thoughts.
Praying different prayers.
Speaking different words.
Treating people differently.
So, what are you willing to do differently?
How are you willing to believe more?
How are you willing to step out of your comfort zone and be bolder?
What are you willing to let go of?
What are you willing to grab hold of?
Peter stepped out of the comforts of fishing and into the new role of pastor of a new movement about to sweep the country. And all it required of him was his everything … and a commitment to “Follow Me” (John 21:19) at all times and in all circumstances.
Are you willing to be like Peter and accept the same invitation? To allow different – and the boldness, confidence, and determination that come with it – to change your life forever?
Dare to be different.
Peter would tell you don’t hesitate, don’t question, and don’t doubt.
Just do it.
Because following God and daring to be different are always worth it.
Your life will never be the same.
Because different with God can change the world.
Marie Fremin. 2/4/20, 2/15/20, 2/16/20.