The record of the disciple, Peter, before his experience at Pentecost in the book of Acts, portrays his impulsive nature. Jesus rebukes him when he reacts to Jesus’ declaration of the path He must take to the Cross. Jesus’ stinging rebuke to Peter’s impulsive exclamation put Peter in place: “…..Get behind me Satan, you are an offence to me, for you do not savour the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matthew 16:23) These words are a challenge to all of us when our old nature seeks to usurp our heavenly Man, the Lord Jesus, from first place in our lives.
Mark 4: 36-41 is the record of a great storm in the boat Jesus and His disciples were travelling in. The storm raged, the disciples panicked, but Jesus was sleeping peacefully on a pillow in the crisis. The disciples awakened Him in the chaos, fearful of losing their lives: “Master, do you not care that we perish?”….Mark 4: 38 The disciples “lost the plot” in the crisis, they took their eyes off the Master and forfeited God’s peace – so would we have in that situation! What did Jesus do? He rebuked the storm and then rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith. The Master was in the boat!
“No waters can swallow the ship where lies the Master of sea, and earth and skies” (Hymn: Master the Tempest is Raging. Mary A. Baker)
When the chief priests and elders came to arrest Jesus prior to His crucifixion, one of the disciples drew his sword impulsively and sliced off the ear of the high priest’s servant, trying to resist Jesus’ arrest, (Matthew 26: 51-54). Jesus rebuked the disciple and told Him to put away his sword. He had agonised in Gethsemane with His Father and, with a steadfast resolve, chosen the path to the Cross for the salvation of mankind. He was not going to resist arrest, He had yielded His will.
Jesus never panicked or acted on impulse. Impulsiveness is a mark of the natural life and Jesus never gave place to that. He always did and said the things that pleased the Father, because His ear was firstly tuned to God, not men or their panicking. Impulsiveness hinders the life of a disciple and proves disasterous because God’s peace is forfeited in the resisting pressure.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. When we acknowledge the wrong way we have handled something in a crisis and have repented, then we can learn through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the right way. Crises reveal where we are in our walk with the Lord. We fail the test when we operate in our fleshly nature, but God will bring new opportunities to prove Him and triumph in situations when we refuse sense knowledge and embrace His instruction on our daily journey. It is more difficult to hear the still, small voice when I allow panic a foothold.
There is a principle in hydraulics: Resistance to flow causes pressure. This is also a principle to be observed in our spirit walk in life. The reason I do not move on in God is because I resist Him in my unwillingness to move, thus my resistance causes pressure which manifests in anxiety, fear, physical problems, condemnation and conviction. Choice instigates movement and brings change. If I resist, I stagnate. When I choose not to bother, even in the small things, I choose not to move.
Yielding destroys the impetus of compulsion! As I yield my will, the life of Jesus can flow unhindered through me. As I exit the stage, He enters! The mystery of the miracle life of Another, Christ in me, the hope of glory!
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore will I hope in Him.” Lamentations 3: 22-24