Recently I was spending time with someone when they said, “Man, I need to have more faith like you have. I need to see God do the amazing things you do.” I definitely understood where they were coming from and have been there. Heck, I am still there looking at great men and women of God like Wigglesworth, Lake, Etter, and Kuhlman and wishing I had more. I don’ t think true relationship with God is ever a satisfied one. If we want God there is always more to get and we are always seeking it. If the hunger for more ever dries up we might be losing focus.
As my friend finished his words though, the Holy Spirit spoke something to me. It is the body of Christ that we are all different for specific purposes. I suddenly looked at the apostles John and Peter and realized how different these men were and yet, how they needed each other so much. Peter is known to be extreme. Take this example;
- PETER: Lord, you’ll not wash my feet at all!
- JESUS: If I don’t wash you then you have no part of me
- PETER: Lord, then wash all of me!!!!
For Peter, it was all or nothing. He was always extreme. There is something powerful about his extreme nature. It gave him boldness! He wasn’t afraid to step out and often make a mistake. He is rebuked by Jesus on multiple occasions. Remember “Get thee behind me Satan”? Peters strength was his extreme boldness and faith and it resulted in him walking on water, lifting the man at the gate beautiful, and speaking to 3,000 on the day of Pentecost. But, it also caused him to slice off a man’s ear, deny Jesus, and live arguably the most emotional life of any of the disciples.
Then there is John. John is there watching Peter walk on water, cut off ears, raise the guy at the gate beautiful, get rebuked and speak the gospel to 3,000 on Pentecost. He was there closer than anyone. They were best buds after Jesus raised. In fact, I imagine when Jesus presented himself to them after his resurrection and Peter jumped in the water to swim to Jesus that John probably stayed the course in the boat, laughing, excited and maybe a little irritated with Peter. Somehow, in our eyes we look at Peter and think we all need to be like this. But, John did not feel this way. John was exactly who he needed to be.
Who was John? He was the guy laying his head on Jesus’ chest. He was the last to remain of the disciples. He wrote the gospel of John, my favorite, and arguable one of the most powerful books of the Bible. He also wrote 1 John, 2 John and 3 John. He received a great revelation from God, The Book of Revelations. So, let me ask you, would you rather walk on water or lay your head on Jesus’ chest?
Actually, I don’t think we should try to be like either of them specifically. We are to be who God made us. I only use them as examples to make a point. God gives each of us strengths and with that weaknesses. But, we mostly focus on our weaknesses. We see what we are lacking, what we are not doing, how we should be more like…[insert name]…, or how we could never do “that” and condemn ourselves into trying to be something other than who God made us to be.
Look at Paul! He was nothing like Peter. He hated speaking in public, he was very learned in the scriptures, and he loved to write. God used him as well. I don’t want to suggest the following is exactly how God does it but think about how God uses these men. We need John to have a deeper understanding and keep guys like Peter from being too extreme. We need Peters to step out and do the really crazy stuff in faith and motivate others. We need Paul to really get a full picture of scripture and teach it to others and we aren’t limited to these gifts alone.
So, let me encourage you today to embrace your weakness and don’t try to change it. Instead, find someone who offsets it and work with them to accomplish kingdom goals. Embrace your strengths and focus on them. Use them and be pleased with how God made you and be OK with someone else walking in their strength. You might be a John and the Peters of this world need you to keep them from getting too crazy. This is the body of Christ, the “many members” as Paul talks about. When the foot and hand can be comfortable in their strengths and rely on the other for their weaknesses then we can really make a difference for the kingdom.