Good afternoon! Grace and peace to you in abundance from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today we are testing ourselves with God's definition of struggle or surrender. Which one describes you and me?
Mathew 16v23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.
We often forget Peter and all men did not have the dwelling life of the Holy Spirit guiding them and sustaining them until Jesus was glorified by our Father. Some had Him here and there for His purpose to be known through them before Christ was risen but not enough to completely make them complete Holy and true. He was given to them enough to know they needed to repent and be used for us as an example. Jesus teaches us this when we receive the Holy Spirit within us we know if anyone had received the Holy Spirit from Him to live in them and guide them they could have been Holy and true by Him keeping them from continuing to make wrong decisions and continue a life of repentance. This was God's plan from the beginning, we now have the Spirit of God living in us and qualifying us to be His true sons and daughters by the same Spirit that lived through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord now lives through us. He is our example that we can be righteous and true because He gave us the Spirit that made Him righteous and true. This does not mean we work ourselves up as a copy of Him. He is real and living within us, He works in us and through us. When His gift of faith is continually given to us our mind is renewed to His way of thinking. We can make this a struggle or a surrender. We do not know how this happens without any effort on our part except through His gift of faith.Peter did not have His mind renewed at this time, He was creating Jesus to be a Jesus He wanted and Peter's natural sympathy for Him was coming through. Peter put the man in Jesus before the God in Jesus, because Peter did not truly know the God in Jesus. Which we often do within ourselves that keeps Christ from doing His work in us and completing His plans and future He has for each of us. His kingdom will still grow and prosper but we will not!! This struggle we create, surrendering to Him our natural human nature happens all the time when Jesus is walking right in front of us. Peter had an excuse because our Lord's grace had not risen within Peter yet. He was still hidden and a mystery to Him deep beneath the surface of Peter. Jesus rebuked him for future reference when Peter's faith would not fail Him because it came from Him. (John 16v1 "All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. v2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.) When they received the Holy Spirit He reminded them of what Jesus had said and began teaching them all things and their faith grew, and grew and grew. If God is not speaking to you something is wrong within you, you have become a stumbling block to His growth in you. We do not have an excuse like Peter had at the time. There is no excuse God will accept now, He has done everything for us through His Son. He has given Himself for us to receive grace by His promise of the Holy Spirit through His gift of faith that opens our heart to need and desire Him. We need to be aware of making our own struggle by becoming a stumbling block because our mind is more sympathetic to things of men instead of things of God. Jesus did not hesitate in putting Peter's mind right for His benefit as we should love others in this same way for their benefit through the gift of grace for them knowing our true and only Savior. Not to be to sympathetic to their human nature but glorify the power of God within them, because He is glorified in you. For whoever loves his own life because of their own sympathies of making their own Jesus to suit their own lives will lose theirs, but whoever loses his life for our true Savior and Lord will find it. The fight we fight is not with our natural spirit and our Holy Spirit, when we loose our struggle of keeping our own life it is gone it does not have the power to come back, we have given ourselves willing to our Father for His use. We have a watchmen living within us that quickly lets us know and He crushes our natural sinful nature for us if and when he raises his ugly head. The fight we fight is keeping the faith in Him we receive to continually grow. If our faith is not continually growing we have become a stumbling block. He continually gives us wants, desires and needs within our new heart to complete us. We may hear Him through dreams, visions, words, the Holy Bible, and people He speaks through. As long as we stay near to our God within us by His grace guiding our hearts He will increase our faith through relationships and circumstances along with our abundant life. He will keep working daily to tell us things about Him, ourselves, the world, and Satan for His purpose and we will see his many wonders and miracles in our lives He has created for each of us as long as we fulfill His will and not ours. The struggle is yours you create by what you let in your mind to complete your will, the fight He fights for you by giving you His gifts of faith, hope and love completes His will for you. The choice is always yours, do you continue to struggle with keeping your will or do you surrender yours so you can receive His will for your life? The path may seam right but your spirit will tell you. I love all of you with the love He gives me for you, many prayers all ways, Vicki Gann