Good morning Saint. I hope that you had a fruitful week, having chosen to go by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for it is Him that leads our steps, when we entrust our lives to Him.
When one reads the Passion account of our Lord Jesus Christ, it becomes clear, that by the time of his crucifixion, most of his disciples had deserted him, and fled for their lives, having realised that they had gone too far, and by so doing put their lives at the firing line. We will concentrate on Apostle Peter, who had even boasted that even if the rest desert the Lord, he was ready to go with Jesus to prison (Luke 22:33). Peter of all the Apostles of Jesus, stands out as a leader. Many times he spoke at the wrong time, but Jesus saw in him a potential, and stuck with him, moulded him from coal to diamond, before charging him with the responsibility of leading others and the very first church.
As Peter was being perfected, he emerges in three critical moments or scenes in scripture.
What is interesting is that at every turning point in his life, there was fire: The first turning point was the night of Jesus’ betrayal . We may call this the fire of denial. This first fire proverbially speaking, consumed all his loyalty to Jesus, his bragging, it distorted Peter’s life. There was a fire of remorse, guilt, and sorrow, that began to burn in Peter’s life, because the gospel writers
record that Peter wept, after denying his Lord.
In John 21:1-19, Peter experiences the second fire. After eating breakfast, Jesus told Peter to sit by the fire, then began questioning him, “Peter do you love me?”, three times. This was the second turning point. Peter smelt the fire and his past memories of their last fire were triggered off! He warmed under this fire. While other fires disfigure, others refine or purify, just as when gold is subjected to high temperatures so as to purify it. Peter here goes through refining, this time it was a cleansing fire. It cleansed Peter of all his guilt, and Jesus moves the thermostat until the right degree of purification is achieved. It was at this point that Peter is restored and receives the apostolic charge, “Feed my lambs…take care of my sheep…Feed my sheep” (John 21:15- 17); just like during the call of Prophet Isaiah ( Isaiah 6:7-9).
The final experience of fire for Peter, was the Pentecostal fire, when while in the upper room, they were all baptized in the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in foreign tongues. This fire literally consumed Peter. This was a flame that did not distort, purify or refine, but rather consumed every darkness in Peter’s life. Peter was in other words consumed by God’s Spirit or
God’s Holy fire, for God is a consuming fire.
Like the first fire, sin will disfigure and ruin your life, bending it into some ugly shape. The good news is, there is place for forgiveness and restoration, represented by the second fire.
It is only after this encounter, that God will commission you as His well prepared vessel. And before He finally releases you, He sends His consuming fire to give you the passion and anointing to serve Him effectively.
The Very Rev. Canon Michael Mukhwana,