Good afternoon! Grace and peace to you in abundance from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ.
Today we are testing ourselves with God's definition of turn.
Luke 22v32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
This is another identity of Jesus that is revealed in his relationship with us. Simon has not been called Peter yet, because he is still believing Jesus to be someone his flesh can only truly see. We see further in the scripture in John 21 after Jesus asked him if he loved him the third time is he called Peter alone and not Simon Peter. During our relationship with Christ we do not get our true name until we know who He is. Peter did not know who our Lord was and neither did the other disciples. The Greek translation for you is plural in God's word when Jesus says to Peter, "Satan has asked to sift you like wheat", means to sift all of the disciples like wheat. Satan want to sift all of us like wheat and he gets permission from God to do it. God allows it because he knows our faith needs to be proved genuine not for Him but for us. He knows who truly believes in Him but it is us that needs to believe more in Him. That is why our Lord says when you have turned back, strengthen you brothers. The Greek word for turn back is "epistrepho" which means to turn and worship the one true God. At this time Peter did not really know the one true God, but Jesus new He would and prayed the prayer we all need to pray for those that do not truly worship the one true God. We pray as he prayed for their faith not to fail them. He did not pray for Peter's faith in himself. We know that is what Peter counted on all along, his own faithfulness, his own self-control, his own confidence, and his own pride in who he thought he was. Jesus let Satan humiliate him in thinking all was lost, all was never going to be forgiven until Jesus came back and called him friend and he knew he was forgiven. (John 21v5 He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?") Peter was asked the first time by Jesus if he caught any fish (Luke 5v5) and through his pride He told Jesus there was no use, but now he had no remark, only did as his friend ask and put the net in the water and it had to many fish for them to haul up. We too believe we are going the right way with great pride and when we are humiliated into knowing we are nothing with out him, we too do what ever he ask without any questions and worship him in a way we never knew before and receive victory! Not only are we stronger than we could ever imagine because it is his strength, his assurance, that we rely on, we can encourage our brothers and sisters through the wisdom he gives us for His strength to grow in them. God answered Jesus' prayer for Peter by looking at Peter's life in how he started the church! This proves once again when we pray for others God will always answer our prayers more than we could ever imagine. Peter had no idea what God had in store for him through out the rest of his life but by his faith never failing while Satan was trying to humiliate Him beyond belief, God was able to accomplish through Peter what needed to be done! Today we need to ask ourselves if we are having faith in Jesus being all we need for this life or are we allowing other people and things in the way of our believing in Him, including ourselves and all the lies of Satan. Peter was stubborn and prideful but God used Satan to demolish his strength in himself! We can turn to Satan or God when we are weak that is a choice we battle everyday. Satan will continue to pull us down, but God will pull us up and give us power to defeat the sifting Satan is trying to accomplish. Godly sorrow brings repentance. Peter chose to keep his faith in God and Jesus knew the choice he would make. God was able to use Peter for God's power to be known an used through him, proving when we hold on to our faith no matter what happens we are brought to victory by the power of God through Jesus Christ. Believing in Him is all we need to take us where He wants us to go! Read Luke 22 and John 21. I love everyone with the love God gives me for you!