A Hard Walk


Have you ever just felt like you were under attack? Have you ever felt like it’s just you against the world, you’re under attack, and it’s time to fight back? Have you ever felt that way yet avoided the temptation to justify yourself, avoided the drive to fight fire with fire, as we say.


Jesus and his disciples had that temptation, never more so than at the point of betrayal when Jesus of Nazareth was taken into custody by the chief priests and elders.   

Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?
We know from the Gospel of John that it was Peter (of course) who cut off the servants ear. Let me tell you something – Peter loved Jesus. He was with Him until the end. He had his back. And He was, even in the garden, willing to fight to the death for His friend. Peter was willing to fight for what was right. Peter was willing to fight to the death against the injustice that was happening right in front of Him. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” We know this most famously as “those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” Humanity, since the beginning of civilization, has been living and dying by the sword. We read this, and I really hope you can empathize with Peter. Peter, here as in so many other places in the bible, is every one of us. We feel like we are being wronged, and we are going to fight back!! We are justified in our fighting back. It feels like the RIGHT thing to do. 
 Peter, I’m sure, felt he was doing the right thing. Peter loved Jesus. Peter believed in Jesus. He believed Jesus was in Jerusalem to be crowned king, and was simply unwilling to accept what seemed to him to be the failure of their mission. He can’t believe what is happening, and he is not going to stand by. He is a fighter. He’s going to STAND UP for what’s right, STAND UP for himself and for Jesus.  


Except that Jesus, the Messiah, the long awaited King of Israel who was in Jerusalem to take His rightful throne, stands up and says “NO!!!” In fact, he points out to Peter (and everyone else listening) – Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? Peter still does not understand. But Jesus tells him that if that was His way to the throne, He could call down all of heavens armies right then and there. He is fully capable of fighting for Himself. But remember this from the Sermon on the Mount – “”You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matthew‬ ‭5:38-39‬ ‭ESV‬‬. Jesus lives out His own teaching against this worlds systems of retaliation and retribution.  


“”You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew‬ ‭5:43-45‬ ‭ESV‬‬. Our ways are to fight back. Jesus says to resist the temptation to retaliate. We want to hate our enemies, we feel justified in holding onto our anger and bitterness against someone who has done wrong to us. But even in this garden, as He’s being taken away into what will be an excruciating (a word which only exists because of what was to come right here) day and night that would end in His final breaths on the cross, Jesus lives out those COMMANDS He gave us – “But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.” Luke‬ ‭22:51‬ ‭ESV‬‬. He didn’t just NOT call down heavens armies against his would be captors, but he heals ON THE SPOT one of those coming against Him. I’m wondering here if maybe, just maybe, this disillusioned Peter so much that it had something to do with his denials a few hours later? He was expecting Jesus to be crowned king, and was willing to die for his master, but from Jesus it was just another rebuke, and then He’s healing one of those who needed to be defeated.   
Let me be honest here – sin is crouching at my door. I’ve been sober from alcohol (and more) since Memorial Day 2014. Yesterday is the closest I’ve come to losing that sobriety. I’m struggling right now. I made a delivery yesterday of a very unique, sought after beer, a beer that I used to really enjoy. And I wanted so much to open one up. I feel like I’m under attack. I’ve been wronged, I’ve been hurt, and I want to fight back. I want to pull out my sword and cut somebody’s fu#%*ing ear off. Since I’ve started my walk of faith, I have not really had a struggle come up that could knock me off. That struggle has come, and now I can better understand the meaning of these words to Peter – “”Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”” ‭Luke‬ ‭22:31-32‬ ‭ESV‬‬. How do I respond? I can tell you, I’ve been angry, accusing and lashing out. I’ve been right in the eye for an eye trap. I want someone to hurt, to pay, for how I feel I’ve been wronged. I feel justified in maybe giving into one of my temptations. “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”” Genesis‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬. Like I said, sin is crouching. Like everyone else, I have a choice. This following Jesus just ain’t easy in times like this. Fighting back just feels so right. So now it’s time to, like Jesus, walk the walk, not just talk the talk. But man, it’s a hard walk.

“But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭22:51‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/luk.22.51.esv

“While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:47-54‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/mat.26.47-54.esv

John Lewis

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22 thoughts on “A Hard Walk

  1. John, you are in my prayers! One day at a time or sometimes I would remind myself, one minute at a time! I have been sober and drug free for many years and you sum it up perfectly with “but man, it’s a hard walk”. It is and we know that to be true. I pray for God’s Holy Spirit to be close to you during this time. Thank you for sharing your walk of faith and not going through this alone!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Hang in there, John. Don’t give up, don’t give in. You are right it is a hard walk, not many find it for narrow is the gate, and straight is way. However, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Sometimes you have to give yourself a self-talk quoting the scriptures – …We are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans 8:31,37

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amen, Romans 8 is a great place to go always. God is working this out for his purposes, I can see that already. Hope to have a much more positive update on this tomorrow. Sometimes we just have to live what we preach, this has been a test for me.

      Thanks so much Barbara!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, and I assure you our sovereign Lord allows this (although He did not tempt!) because He loves us, the members of His blessed Bride so unbelievably much (!!) and is purifying her of EVERY last trace of her old Adam! He who overcomes time and time again WILL be one of the wise virgins, raptured by our heavenly Bridegroom to the wedding party at the Father’s house, where our very presence will CAST the devil down to earth, ushering in the great tribulation (see Part 7: Sequence of Some End-Time Events, Imminency, and Jesus’ Olivet Discourse
    https://thelordiswithus.com/2016/06/11/part-7-sequence-of-some-end-time-events-and-immanency/)
    So BE ALERT and BE READY!! Let’s keep encouraging one another to REJOICE in ALL such trials, for they develop perseverance, which MUST finish its work…

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  4. Hey John,
    I will be praying for you brother. Remember about Peter that he has been told the plan over and over again by Jesus and he has ignored and not understood the plan over and over again. Jesus even had told him to get behind him Satan when Peter objects to the Cross right after recognizing him as Lord.

    Why does he continue to have problems and ultimately abandon Jesus? Because he doesn’t want to – Peter puts himself and his hopes and dreams in front of God’s plans. His flesh is at war with Jesus and he repeatedly chooses the flesh over Jesus. Peter saying my plan, my plan, my plan over and over again which culminates with him denying Jesus, swearing that he does not know the Man and getting called on it with the rooster. My plan, my plan, my plan is where I get myself in trouble as well.

    In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus makes a statement when He finds the disciples sleeping after asking them to watch and pray and I really never understood that covers this – the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

    The Spirit is ready and willing to lead us on paths of goodness and righteousness, but our flesh doesn’t want that and will rebel with all of its tried and true methods – sleepiness, lust, anger, indignation, self pity, booze, hurt, unforgiveness – all of them designed to keep us doing what Jesus specifically directs us to do.

    The Cross is the instrument of death, painful death of the flesh and Jesus says to give our cares to Him take it up that instrument of death to self daily and follow Him.

    I am 7 years past the day that Jesus saved me from booze – keep walking with him forward and I can tell you He makes it easier.
    Praying for you
    Tom

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Tom!! I appreciate the prayers, they are already working. I have an update I will be posting tomorrow, started writing this morning but “life” called. But the Lord is working on me. Thank you for the support!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Praying for you! I remember sitting in my studio, alone, and wondering why a sane, semi-happy, and pretty intelligent woman was sitting there in the dark- pouring poison down her throat- knowing that death would come soon. The enemy is ruthless, slimy and oh so cunning. I find shiny apples everywhere, not just in the form of alcohol. Your post was a gentle reminder to me as well. His power is made perfect in weakness. May you find strength and rest in Him during your trials. – Janet

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  6. John, I am so blessed to read how God our heavenly Father is working in the hearts of His children in this generation, and to know that the training you and others are receiving in your young years will equip you for the future persecution. You are only beginning to experience the warfare, so be encouraged that you have been chosen to follow in the Master’s footsteps.
    I hope to soon finish Thriving Under Oppression, a book that explains how the oppressor has since the beginning of time made this world a state of oppression, one that we cannot escape until the Father calls each of us home. He trains us, by the power of His Holy Spirit and His Word, to be the example to others of His mighty working within us to “overcome the world” and live the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. Our witness of His working will cause Him to draw others to us and to “give an answer for the hope that is within us.” My prayers and supplication are offered up to the Father on your behalf and of others who have commented on your post. “The Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” The Lord is with you and will not forsake you. We are all in this battle together. ~ Fran

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