Why does God say you are when it is really not yet?

If we can grasp this truth and make it our personal – deep down – inside REALITY we will have an unshakeable, unwavering faith in Almighty God - - no matter what!!!

I the Lord have spoken it (EZK.17:24, 22:14) and I will do it.

Judah learned nothing from Israel’s righteous judgment from God. Israel disregarded the warnings of God’s prophets and persisted in their sin and idolatry until God removed them (2KI.15:29) and they were taken captive to Assyria. Judah also ignored God’s prophets and chose to be deceived by fake prophets. Just because Israel was judged (they were told) that was no reason to think anything bad could happen to Judah - - never in Jerusalem! So they continued in even greater sin and idolatry until God’s hammer fell (Jer.25:11, 2CHRON.36:20-21) and they were taken captive to Babylon for 70 years. As we read through the prophesies we can actually get weary of the many times God warned them and the many times He restrained judgment and offered hope. Hope? Was it not all over for them? Read of their not yet but certain glorious future. (EZK.37:1-28). Israel and Judah will be reunited into one nation and God will make His dwelling among them. (And we will get to see it!).

Join me as I move ahead several centuries and go to Caesarea where we can eavesdrop on a conversation (MAT.16:15-18) between Jesus and Simon Peter. We hear Jesus tell Simon he was blessed because of the revelation given to him by the Father.

Then Jesus said something very strange - - you are Simon (wavering), you are Peter (rock). Look at Vs.22 and 23 – was Peter a rock when, probably feeling proud because of the revelation from God and the blessing of Jesus, he was used by Satan to try to come between Jesus and His Cross? Definitely not! Was Peter a rock when he (MAT.26:69-74) publicly denied Jesus 3 times? Definitely not!

After His resurrection (JN.21:4-17) one special very significant morning Jesus made breakfast on the shore for His disciples. After breakfast Jesus singled out Peter. Was Peter a rock then? No, he had gone back to fishing. John’s Gospel was written in Aramaic but he used the Greek words for LOVE in the conversation. Notice that Jesus called him Simon not Peter. Wavering Simon do you AGAPE Me? (the highest form of selfless love). Peter used the lower form and replied – I’m fond of You. Jesus repeated the same question and Peter gave the same answer. When Jesus asked the third time, He used Peter’s word so Jesus asked – Are you fond of Me? Peter was hurt – he knew what was coming. His head was spinning with the excruciatingly painful memory of his 3 denials. But he couldn’t brag anymore – he knew what he was and he had to be honest. Even though he “knew” Jesus was going to send him away with scathing words in utter disgrace, he answered truthfully – “I’m fond of You”. What Jesus said next shocked Peter to the inner core of his being FEED MY LAMBS AND TEND MY SHEEP.

Jesus was not sending wavering Simon away but was actually commissioning him for a work that would prove he did love Jesus “more than these” be it friends – fishing – job – income or anything else. Was Peter a rock right then on that shore? No, not yet but we have to go back to Caesarea for a minute. On that same day Jesus said He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. Now let’s join the 120 on the Day of Pentecost. When the Holy Spirit came there was no sign of wavering Simon - BUT - Peter the rock stood up and became the spokesman for the new-born Church. Never again would the name Simon be used for him unless it was accompanied with Peter. Soon it seemed to disappear. Peter refers to himself (2PTR.1:1) as Simon Peter a servant of Jesus Christ. To me he is humbly saying – I know that in myself I am wavering Simon but as the servant of my Master and His power, I am Peter the rock.

How did Jesus know away back then in Caesarea that wavering Simon would become Peter the Rock? How did He know that the gates of hell would not prevail from the beginning of persecution shortly after Pentecost through centuries of satanic onslaughts continuing to-day against precious suffering saints being beautified in the fire? How did He know for sure?

On that heart breaking day when Jesus heard (LK.22:33) that sincere but empty boast of faithfulness unto death – when Jesus heard those (JN.18:25-27) self-preserving denials - - Jesus looked at Peter (LK.22:61) but He was seeing Simon. What was in that look - - anger and distrust? No, the eyes of Jesus were filled with loving understanding and compassion. How could that be even slightly possible? Because Jesus knew there was another day coming when faithful selfless Peter would be a rock who would willingly accept cruel martyrdom because of his AGAPE LOVE for JESUS.

He knows because He sees the total picture, He sees the end from the beginning. But I think there is a much deeper reason than His Omniscience for His knowing.

At Gethsemane and Calvary He paid the horrific cost, the tremendous price to guarantee the fulfillment and completion of every Word and purpose of Almighty God. That’s how He knows (RO.8:29) that you and I will be conformed to the image of His beloved Son.

Our wonderful Lord Jesus proved this marvelous truth in Himself. Listen carefully to what He says (JN.17:4) Father, I have finished the work You gave Me to do. Had He finished the work? No, not yet. He still had to cross the brook Cedron to get to the anguish of Gethsemane and then on to the agony of Calvary before the work was finished. BUT when Jesus says it – it is as good as done, it is more certain than history. Let’s you and I always listen to Him. What a horrible loss it would be to miss something He wants to say to us.

As I look at Peter and actually as I look at myself, I can confirm something Chuck Swindoll said - - there is no past failure that can prevent us from being forgiven and used by God. Love covers (1PTR.4:8) a multitude of sins.

I know that in ourselves we are all wavering Simons but in and through Christ Jesus you are/I am (name___________________ the rock (RO.8:37) who is more than conqueror.

What an anchor for our faith. What a compelling vista for our obedience. If we are obeying the Lord there is no possible way we can ever lose. We can only gain and in the gaining of obedience we have the priceless sweetness of our vital relationship to Jesus. But there`s more - - - the sweetness Jesus lavishes on us in that relationship will flow out through us to bless everyone because (JN.4:14) the water that Jesus gives us will be a well to bless everyone.

Thus says the Lord God

I have said it and I will do it.

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain (REV.5:12) to receive all the power and riches and wisdom and might and honour and majesty and glory and splendour and blessing --- both now and forever.

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