The Bare Soul
May 23, 2010
John 6:68 - Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life."
Peter revealed the profundity of the disciples position in this passage in the Gospel of John. They were quite literally between the proverbial "Rock and the hard place". On one hand, they saw their "Rock" - their Friend, Teacher, and eventual Savior alienating both common people along with the Pharisees and religious folks of the day. On the other, no one knew Jesus as they did. They understood that there was no one else who spoke or did the things of God as their loving teacher. They had put themselves in the position to follow Christ, no matter what He might do or say, simply because they understood that He possessed life giving words. Peter merely voiced what the other disciples felt in our lead verse. They had come to know their friend Jesus enough to trust that He would not lead them astray. Yet, at the same time, they understood little where they might be headed. Only after they themselves were indwelt by the Spirit of Christ post-Pentecost did they truly understand what it meant to possess words that could bring forth both life and death. For some, as those 3,000 souls on that fateful day discovered, there was life in the words of the Apostle Peter as he instrumentally snatched these persons from the bowels of hell. But what of the others who heard but did not yield? For these that did not repent on that day or any other, the same words sealed their fate for eternity.
Words carry the weight of our eternal fate. Depending on what we hear, and what we say, these will ultimately determine where we spend eternity. Jesus told us that we would give an account of every careless word that we speak (Matthew 12:36). Proverbs 18:21 tells us, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Without exception, we will either confess Jesus Christ as Lord with humility on this side of eternity and be saved (Romans 10:9-10), or we will deny his existence by our abeyance to confess Him as Lord yet at the same time "idolizing" every worldly pleasure by our constant worldly chatter. It all depends on how we receive the words of eternal life. If we receive them implanted, then they are able to save our souls (James 1:21). If we, along with the fool, say there is no God (Psalm 14:1), then we have hardened the soil of our heart to the point where God's eternal seed can find no place to grow (Luke 8:5). The road is broad to destruction and many are on this super-highway to hell (Matthew 7:13). The exception will be those who yearn after righteousness and will not retreat from the path of life, no matter what. Peter and his cohorts understood this. The patriarch Job also understood that there was nothing in what his friends offered, no matter whether they had the best intentions in their misplaced sympathies. Job declared that even if God should slay him, he would continue to trust only Him and to put forth his case before his Maker and no other (Job 13:15). Beloved, have we come to that place in our respective walk with the Lord? Have we made a covenant with God that we shall not betray Him no matter what the cost? Friends may say that our faith is insanity, that we are trusting in archaic "fairy tales". Have we acknowledged that we too are between that "Rock and hard place" and desire no other?
Pentecost changed everything for the disciples. Likewise, God's indwelling in a manifest way will change ANY man, woman, or child. We merely have to want it and to wait for it until it comes. While God has most certainly given us all things including the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, the understanding and the actualization are often disconnected from the daily experience for many of us. That's why it is paramount to continue to pray for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation as outlined in Ephesians 1:17-19. Many of us are where Christ's disciples were in the sixth chapter of John when the Lord asked that probing question, ... You do not want to go away also, do you? (John 6:67). We must be honest and forthright at this juncture and say to the Lover of our souls, Lord reveal to me the words of eternal life that will truly make me free! Jesus did not tell us to become experts at quoting scripture or knowing the Bible, but to hear His voice and to be changed by its revelation (John 10:3, John 10:16). The more we hear His words and act upon them the more we will be changed according to His image, for faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of His testimony (Romans 10:17). From faith to faith we WILL be changed if we continue to cry out for wisdom and understanding of Christ. Then, we too will understand the power of Pentecost. The recipe is simple -- watching and waiting with humility, weeping and wailing for more wisdom and understanding, and witnessing the wonderful experience when He sheds His Spirit in us and through us to others.
Beloved of God, there is no greater joy that the Lord desires to give to us then to experience more of Him through His life-giving words. We must understand, however, that these are not given glibly or without meaning. When God gives Himself in full measure, it is because a man, woman, or child has emptied themselves of any possible retreat into the world. There is a determination in their souls that they will have more of God or else they will die trying. Just as God will not share His glory with another, neither should we share ourselves with anything less than eternal words -- words that will ultimately cause a finality of decisions to the hearers. It is our responsibility as Christ's ambassadors on this earth to live lives as nothing less than those that speak the language of heaven to a dying world. May we all cry out to our Heavenly Father for MORE revelation of who He is within us all in order to change this world around us.
Lord Jesus, thank you for Your words of eternal life. Teach us the language of angels and of Your heavenly abode, convincing some of Your love for them by Your supreme sacrifice. Allow all who hear Your words to be changed forever. In Your Name, Amen.
Your Barefoot Servant,
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