“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11
The way you come on is the way you go on. No one enters into The Kingdom of God with a prideful, self-sufficient and self-centered spirit of independence. When Jesus expressed the preamble of The Constitution of The Kingdom, He led with the credentials of citizenship.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit.” ~ Jesus – Matthew 5
Humility leads you to the threshold of The Kingdom. Every time you bow your head in prayer, you continue to yield your rights, and place your life under the mighty hand of God.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,…”
There is a huge connection between the bending of your knees to enter The Kingdom and the mending of your nets to serve in The Kingdom. Let’s go fishing.
“Cast your net on the other side of the boat.” ~ Jesus
Peter heard these very words spoken to him on the Sea of Galilee, from the lips of Jesus. When he obeyed them, his life was changed, forever. He, along with other anxious fishermen, had labored through the night, only to face the dawn with empty nets and no catch. In an instant, by a simple act of humility they obeyed the voice of Jesus, and discovered overwhelming abundance and unexpected grace. Some things never change. Citizens of The Kingdom yield to the direction of the voice of The Risen Christ. The way you come on is the way you go on in The Kingdom.
Humbling His children is not a sign of The Father’s punishment. Contrary to contemporary church pop psychology, suffering is essential preparation for His blessing. Far from being an expression of God’s lack of concern, suffering is often a vehicle through which He delivers His most tender care.
“…that He might exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” V. 7b
You will not like suffering when you face it, but don’t fail to embrace it when it arrives. It is coming. Any crisis, chaos, or confrontation with the enemy is meant to bring you to your knees. If you let fear lead you to prayer, it will empower you to mend your ways, and to resist your real adversary.
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren in the world.” V. 8-9
“Perfect” is a term used to describe the mending of nets. As a fisherman, Peter was intimately familiar with the necessary task of mending nets to prepare for the next catch. It was not punishment for being a bad fisherman. It was just essential to being an effective one.
Prayer yields your rights, wounded pride, and stretch-marked faith to The Father’s personal touch. He reserves the right of a caring Father to expose areas of weakness in your life, and challenge you to mend those areas in order to be a more effective fisherman.
“The God of grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm strengthen and establish you.” V. 10
Peter moved seamlessly, like His Savior, between words ofexhortation and prayers of intercession. While calling on believers to be prepared to mend their ways, He reminded them to come to The Father on bended knees.
“To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.” V. 11
NOTE TO SELF: There is little hope of agreeing with The Father’s direction to mend your life, without being humble enough to bend your knees and recognize His dominion over your life. Bending your knees leads to mending your nets. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!