Have you noticed, commitment goes only so far? I decided to give up sugar—for a while. That night my husband came home with three large chocolate bars and said, “Your favorite dark chocolate is on sale.”
I promised to hold my tongue and say only encouraging words. Well, that didn’t last long!
Every personality carries inherent strengths and weaknesses. People who feel strong in an area emphasize commitment to overcome flaws. Jesus highlighted connection.
The night Jesus was betrayed He warned His disciples, and Peter in particular, of what was coming. “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” (See Luke 22:31-62 NIV).
How was Peter to avert falling? Jesus said, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41 NIV).
But Peter trusted in his commitment to Jesus. “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death” (Luke 22:33).
The Lord knew Peter’s stout heart—and frail flesh. He knew Peter needed to reconnect with the Father.
Later that night, when a crowd led by Judas came to snatch Jesus, committed Peter pulled out a sword and slashed off the nearest man’s ear to protect his Lord. Jesus had him put away his sword. In a short period, Peter crumbled. He denied knowing Jesus three times.
When the cock crowed, “The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:61-62 NIV).
Peter loved Jesus. But his love and loyalty were not enough to keep him faithful. Commitment alone was insufficient. He needed the supernatural strength that a vibrant connection with God provides.
4 Ways to Connect
- Pray: “But ask the Lord Jesus Christ to help you live as you should, and don’t make plans to enjoy evil” (Romans 13:14 TLB).
- Walk by the Spirit: “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16 NIV).
- Abide in Jesus and His word: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing…. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:5, 7 NIV).
- Delight in the Lord: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires“ (Ps. 37:4 NLT).
It doesn’t matter whether, like Peter, I feel strong or I’m too weak to stand, some tests can’t be passed without God’s strength. And any apparent victory done in my own strength counts as nothing.
I’ve learned staying connected to the Lord beats staying committed to my plan. I need to commit everything I do to the Lord! (See Ps. 37:5). Connection to Jesus keeps me committed to the right path, even when I stumble.Staying connected to the Lord beats staying committed to my plan. #Devotional, #Faithful Click To Tweet
Give Yourself a Break offers ways to build a deeper connection with God and overcome temptation.