Fortified by Failure – Pt. 2

But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail

Faith is the foundation of the Christian life.  It means we have complete trust or confidence in God.  If we claim to trust God 100%, then we should trust ourselves 0%. However, many of us are trying to live our lives in our own strength.  We don’t take consistent advantage of the weapons Jesus gave us to be victorious in fighting temptation and sin.  As we continue to look at Simon Peter’s denial of Jesus in Luke 22, we see that he did not fail for lack of passion, but because he was not armed for spiritual battle.

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Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.  And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.  Luke 22:31-32

Simon Peter was a leader among the disciples and passionate about following Jesus. However, when Jesus gave him a warning that Satan was about to strike, he thought that he could handle it.  His reply in Luke 22:33 was, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”  That’s quite a bold statement by Simon Peter, but was he really ready? Was he prepared for combat?

Pray – Prayer is a weapon.  It aligns our will with God’s will so that we can endure when the sifting comes.  In Luke 22:39-40 Jesus tells Simon Peter and the disciples to pray so that they wouldn’t fall into temptation.  But instead of praying, Simon Peter fell asleep with the rest of them.

Don’t get caught alone – Satan divides and conquers.  When a predator attacks, it waits until the prey is alone.  We make ourselves vulnerable to Satan’s deceptions when we live life isolated from other believers.  The night that Simon Peter denied Jesus, he found himself separated from Jesus and the other disciples.  He was being questioned about his affiliation to Jesus, who had just been arrested.  Simon Peter had the chance to prove if he would really go to prison or death for Jesus, but isolation caused him to fail.  (Luke 22:54-60)

How are you using the weapon of prayer to fight your spiritual battles?  Where is self-reliance leaving you vulnerable to attack?  What relationships do you have that hold you accountable and help you fight temptation? What relationships, if any, do you need to end?

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