February 11, 2019

By Paul Banta

Luke 22:31-32 says, “’Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat.  But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So, when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”  Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.”  But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”’ – NLT

In our coaching careers we’ve, all had times that seemed impossible to endure?  Years later, as you looked back on those events, you realized how such misfortune prepared you for the things to come and things that would forever change your life for the future for severing the Lord.

The Scriptures tell us that the Lord will sometimes allow us to be “purified” for higher purposes God is preparing for your life. I genuinely hope you believe it and be expecting that your future with the Lord is never at a standstill and He’s got more ahead of you that He’s been planning for centuries. In other words, the devil may be permitted by the Lord to go at you to affect an area of your lives. God does this to strengthen our faith and transform us into stronger men and women for Him.

In today’s scripture, Christ knew what was about to happen over the next few days to Peter and Himself. He would die on the cross, return to life, challenge them to be His witness on the earth and then ascend to heaven. He chose Peter to be the leader of His apostles and to accomplish great things for the Kingdom. But Peter wasn’t ready just like sometimes we’re not, but Jesus is always prepared! God made sure He prepared the way for you and me to use soccer to change lives. If He could do this for the Apostle Peter, as we read in today scripture, He’ll do it for you.

Jesus allowed the devil to temporary separate Peter from His Lord. In so doing, God separated the usefulness of Peter from the foolish thinking that he often did.  Ever been there?  He divided the best areas of Peter’s life that he had gained from knowing Jesus from the ungodly ways Peter had culturally lived.  Ultimately, Peter grew stronger from his experiences as He matured more in understanding and performing the instructions of Jesus changing and impacting the world he lived in forever.

Peter played a crucial role in spreading the gospel following Christ’s death. And in the end, He died because of His faith. Had God not allowed this time of sifting, Peter wouldn’t have been prepared for the events that were ahead of him.  As you look back on your life, how has God adjusted your life to handle the difficult times to come? Know that He has planned you for His purpose with a passion for the game and for allowing the Holy Spirit shape you and to produce fruit in your own life to impact others.

What’s your next move?