Daily D – John 13:37
“Lord,” Peter asked, “why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
JOHN 13:37 (CSB)
We have the benefit of hindsight Peter did not. No doubt his question was honestly asked and passionately delivered. He had been through so much with Jesus. He alone among the disciples walked on water with Jesus. He alone among the disciples was also saved from drowning by Jesus.
When Jesus met with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter was there. When Jesus asked the Big Question, “Who do you say I am?” Peter spoke up first and answered correctly (Matthew 16:15, 16).
Yes, he also spoke a few rash statements, and yes, he took a few rash actions, but he was all-in on Team Jesus. And so he wanted to know, “why can’t I follow you now?”
We see why not. For one thing, as bold as his words were, they would soon turn cowardly (verses 37 and 38). For another thing, only Jesus could do what had to be done next. On the other side of Gethsemane, the cross, and the resurrection, Jesus would again say to Peter, “Follow me,” (John 21:19). Then Peter would follow him all the way to his own cross.
How many assignments or opportunities have you desired and God said, “No,”? I can think of quite a few. Here is an important fact: When God says NO, it is just as good as when he says, YES.
Sometimes the most loving and beneficial word from God is No. Sometimes it is, “Not now,” or “Not yet.” Sometimes it is “No, not ever.” God’s negative response is more loving than his positive affirmation of the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Are you wrestling with God’s No, Not Yet, or Not Ever? As difficult as this moment may be, know there are much better moments ahead. If you could see what God sees, you would agree. If you could understand God’s purpose and timing, you would joyfully acquiesce.
Seek God’s direction. Trust his timing. Know that every NO leads to a Greater YES.
I will wait for God’s Greater YES.
Our Father, I want to do your will your way in your strength in your timing. I joyfully embrace your No knowing that it leads to a Greater YES. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.