“31And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
Many of you are aware about 2-1/2 years ago, I took a pretty nasty fall in my personal life and my spiritual life. I separated from my wife at the time, lost the ability to see my two baby girls everyday, and my spiritual life was in shambles. I believed then, as I still do, that I was a pretty good guy. I made my mistakes, but in this thing called life I wasn’t in prison, on drugs, an alcoholic and I didn’t beat my wife and kids. So, it set me to thinking, why does God let good men fall? We see it every day in our society. Good fathers failing. Ministers who fall away from the Faith. Pillars of society who screw up and throw their lives away. As I’ve studied this question over the last couple years, I have come across many many answers. But there is one that just keep popping into my head. It is entirely possible to be an unconverted Christian.
Look at verse 32 in the above text, Jesus tells Peter, “..when thou art converted..” What? This is Peter. The Rock that Jesus would build his church on. The one who followed Him everywhere. The one, who besides Jesus and Paul, is considered the man in the New Testament. What is Jesus talking about, when you are converted? Let’s look at a little more info. Look at verse 33 (which I’ve not included so I’m fixing you to open your Bible or at least a Bible app). Peter tells Jesus that he was ready to go to prison with him or even die with Him. How many of us are at that point in our lives where we can say those words? Now, wait another second. If you remember, in about 6 hours from the time this conversation happened Peter would deny even knowing Jesus 3 times.
Is all this starting to make sense? It is about “spiritual maturity”. As we mature in our faith we are able to withstand more of the challenges that we face, more of the temptations that the devil throws at us. Peter was saved but in some deep sense he was not yet fully converted to the Masters use. And that explains his denying Jesus 3 times just hours after telling Him he’d go to prison or die with Him.
After studying this pretty intensively, I’ve come up with four principles that I have found to be true and I believe will help each of us in our own spiritual lives.
1. No Christian is beyond the possibility of moral failure.
2. Satan often attacks us at the point of our apparent strength, not at the point of our weakness.
3. God allows us to fail in order to strip away our excessive self confidence.
4. (And this is the most important one) God can redeem your mistakes if you will allow Him to.
As a broken, fallen man myself all I can do is give it to Him and allow Him to restore me.
Blessings my friends. Love and Prayers.