One of my favorite characters in the Bible is Peter. The name Peter means “rock”. Peter’s original name was Simon – and he did not always act like a rock! Peter had a habit of putting his foot in his mouth, being ready to fight at the wrong time, and being very bold. Peter was also very loyal and deeply loved Jesus, sticking with Christ even when thousands left Him.
What is so great about studying the life of Peter – which I will be doing with Covenant Grove for 5 weeks starting on October 18 – is that we can see how his life is changed by Jesus. He didn’t just get a new name – his life was Rocked. His character was strengthened and he was challenged to become the best person that God made him to be. He followed Jesus, was forgiven after denying Jesus, preached the great sermon at Pentecost, baptized the first Gentile (only later to act like a hypocrite), and traveled far to spread the gospel of Jesus. His life was rocked – he learned strength and gentleness by following Jesus. He changed the world.
God wants our lives to be Rocked. He wants to make us stronger. He wants us to complain less and be filled with His type of joy more. He wants us to be strong enough to do His Kingdom work with Him, and gentle enough to help the hurting. I have noticed, with our church getting a building, that some people are so excited and ready to do more work – because the building and the new people means more work. God is Rocking their hearts and making them strong. Others are done with serving – now that we have a building, the church plant is “over” (in their minds), and they are ready to take a break – right when God is doing more and more! I understand – people are tired and feeling under spiritual attack. This is when our Father wants to make us strong and Rock our resolve – if we sit on the sidelines there will be lives that will not be reached with Christ.
Can we cut the complaining, end the excuses, and erase the entitlement? I believe that Jesus can. Our souls can be Rocked by the Holy Spirit – and we can change the world.