So, today I really want to talk about Peter!
Why Peter? Because he is absolutely crazy! If Peter was alive today I am convinced he would probably be in the Olympics competing in extreme sports, doing back flips, walking on water and of course preaching the gospel. That may be a bit of an exaggeration… But Peter was indeed crazy–In a good way though. Peter was energetic, zealous, confident, and an over all passionate person. Jesus saw this from the very beginning, when He gave Him the name Peter, which literally means rock.
Now, if you think about it, it really doesn’t make sense that Jesus would give Simon Peter the name Rock, because he was more of a loose canon than a reliable weapon. However, Jesus saw past Peter’s present actions; Jesus saw Peter’s heart and what he would become.
With all of this being said, there is something that we do not usually talk about, and that is the fact that the Peter we read about in the gospels is not the same Peter we hear from in first and second Peter. This is because Peter was not a born again Christian yet! His actions in the gospels reflects an orphan spirit, and that is why Jesus had to rebuke him and instruct him in such a way. But Jesus was not trying to change Peter, He was trying to get his passions going in the right direction.
To elaborate on this claim, there is another story in the Bible that relates to this idea. In Luke 9 Jesus sent messengers into a Samaritan village to prepare the way for Him, but these messengers were rejected by the village. James and John did not like the fact that this village rejected their teacher, so they asked Jesus, “should we call down fire from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them, saying “you don’t know what spirit you are of.” Jesus was not rebuking their zeal and passion, he was pushing it in the right direction, because their energy and zeal was good, but it was for the wrong reasons.
My message to you is this, God does not want you to get your life together before you take that next step with Him, because you never will. No matter how hard you try you will never whip your life into shape; it is only possible through the power of the Holy spirit. God also does not want you to throw away your personality and passions, because he wants to use them, but for the right reasons. Try reading first and second Peter.You are not going to find the same man you saw in the gospels, because Peter was transformed and made new. Peter’s energetic personality and passionate spirit was still there, but it was used for the kingdom of God.
When we give our lives fully to God, our sinful nature dies, but our gifts and passions do not die, they are transformed with us. We have to understand that our live is supposed to be a living vessel for God to flow through, personality and all. But this comes through surrender, offering our lives to him, to use however He wills.