DayBreaks for 01/08/14 – Sitting by the Enemy’s Fire
Luke 22:54-55 (NLT) So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. 55 The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there.
How quickly we are humbled! How quickly we can turn from proud and confident followers to betrayers! Mere hours before, Peter had said with full confidence in himself, that he would never betray Jesus. Now, the deed that echoes through the centuries is done in a heartbeat. Note the progression: long before the first denial, Peter had gone from standing beside Jesus, sword drawn and flashing in the dancing torch light to “following at a distance”. No one had yet accused him of anything…but he was at a distance. Notice the next statement: Peter even joined the same guards he’d seen in the garden and sat beside them at the fire!
What happens when we let distance come between us and the Lord? Other things grab our attention. In this case, it may have been the guards who were roughly handling Jesus in the garden that first caused Peter (even after chopping off an ear!) to perhaps duck and hide, bob and weave, through the night shadows from one olive tree to another. It may have been the number of swords that were drawn. It may have been the suspicion of what would happen at the trial. We don’t know what all went though his mind, but this we do know: he followed “at a distance.”
How often I follow at a distance! How easily my pride can be destroyed by a threat of personal harm. How easy it is to find myself sitting in the enemy camp by a warm fire rather than standing with my Lord!
We will all face choices today regarding whether we will stand with Jesus or sit by a warm fire with the enemy. Which will you choose?
PRAYER: Forgive me, Lord, for the times I’ve sought the comfort of the fire to standing with you in a cold and terrifying position! Forgive my pride that makes me think from time to time about how strong my faith might be and about what a committed follower I am! Give me courage, Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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