Fight or Flight – Or Just Stand in Faith

Daily God Walk for Friday, December 24, 2010

  Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.     – Matthew 26:50-52

 The bravado with which this disciple, John identified him as Peter, is replaced by fear as verse 56 records, “Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.” Peter, on an impulse relied upon his strength as a man to defend Jesus, and at that Jesus rebuked him saying, “Put your sword back in its place for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

When backed into a corner it is the nature of man to fight or take flight. The hardest thing to do is to stand in the face of an enemy without defense and trust the Lord. Peter, and I am sure the other disciples as well, was ready to fight to protect their Lord, but when Jesus rejected their help they ran away in fear.

The nature of man is very well demonstrated in this event. When faced with the inability to fight we will then struggle to find a way out. Often we will back out as gracefully as we can, or we may just turn and run off as the disciples did.

Once they began to run the disciples never stopped. Peter tried to be brave and followed at a distance. Later, when Jesus was before the priests Peter cautiously approached the temple courts and there warmed himself at the fire others had built to observe the events. It was at this fire that Peter denied Jesus.

We are not called to draw a sword to protect the Prince of Peace, but neither are we run away from our enemy. Impetuous Peter knew only fight or flight: Peter the Spirit filled ambassador of the kingdom of God, just 50 days later, was emboldened to stand before a crowd  and declare Jesus as both Lord and Christ. The only difference was the power of the Holy Spirit. We need that power.

 Principle:  The Holy Spirit gives us the power to stand.

Affirmation:  I can only stand for Christ by the Spirit’s power.

Prayer: Embolden me with your power to declare Christ. Amen.

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

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