I chatted with someone on the airplane and felt the Holy Spirit nudged me to speak to them about Jesus, but my fear of their opinion barred my lips like an iron gate. I didn’t want to be “that crazy religious person.” I lived in practical denial of Jesus because I cared more about my perceived image from a stranger than following the Spirit.
And years later, that punch of conviction still lingers like a bruise.
Sometimes, failing to obey Jesus leaves us with the feelings of remorse—other times—it leaves us completely broken. But there is hope—right from the pages of Scripture.
The Apostle Peter declared to Jesus that he would never leave Jesus—even if it meant dying to follow Him.
Jesus then told Peter, that in fact, Peter would deny Him three times before the next morning when the rooster crowed.
So it happened. After Jesus’ arrest (Luke 22), Peter warms his hands by a crackling fire outside where religious leaders interrogate Jesus. Three people accuse Peter of following Jesus.
Three times Peter replies:
Peter denies Jesus three times. Just. Like. Jesus. Said.
But Jesus told Peter that when Peter denies Jesus—to turn back, and then encourage the faith of the other Jesus-followers.
Hope for When We Fail
Sometimes we live in practical denial similar to Peter.
We know what God wants us to do—and we don’t do it. We shirk from following Jesus because we care more about the easy than the uncomfortable.
We choose the easy way rather than following Jesus—we outright sin. But just like there was hope for Peter, we have hope too.
From Peter’s story we learn three things:
- Jesus already knew we would sin, but chose us anyway.
- Jesus welcomes us when we turn back to Him.
- When we turn back, we can use our strengthened faith to encourage others.
Pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you any way you might have lived in practical denial this week. Renew your commitment to follow the nudge of the Spirit—even when it’s uncomfortable or costly.