Grand Intentions

Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow Me now; but you will be able to follow later.” 37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why cannot I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You!” 38 Jesus answered, “Will you [really] lay down your life for Me? I assure you and most solemnly say to you, before a rooster crows you will deny and completely disown Me three times. ~ John 13:36-38 AMP

“You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.” – John 18:17  AMP

Peter has such grand intentions. Ready to pull out his sword and fight, but unwilling to confess his Master to a slave girl. I would criticize him for this inconsistent and shameful behavior if it weren’t so familiar to me.

How often do we begin our day confident in the new mercies from God that this is the day we will turn the corner and make significant and needful changes … only to face the noon hour with disappointment?

“Will you really lay down your life for Me?”

rooster4cThere is no denying that there is victory to be claimed if we will only yield to the Holy Spirit. It would be a sad, defeatist attitude to think we have no hope of gaining in holiness. But it is also realistic to note that our lives are not shaped by our pronouncements of what we intend to do. They are grand intentions, indeed. But they are focused more on what we wish rather than what we are.

Instead of expressing our Grand Intentions to the Lord, it would behoove us instead to express our utter dependence. Hour by hour, minute by minute. Only when we fall into His empowering presence can we experience the overcomer’s victory. Only then will the victory be His and not ours.

“Will you really lay down your life for Me?

Right or Real? 

Although that question was for Peter, it cuts me to the heart. I know the right answer, but I also know the real answer.

We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labour is to remember, to attend. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake. … I call upon him in prayer. Often he might reply – I think he does reply – “But you have been evading me for hours.” ~ C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

So, I’d like to start this day with one truly Grand Intention: to be aware of God’s holy presence throughout the day. That seems to me to be a better course than expressions of bravado.

“Will you really lay down your life for Me?”

My only hope is to walk with Him hour by hour throughout the day. Whatever my performance, He will be there to catch me when I fall and to strengthen me when I get back up.

Out here hope remains. John