Do you know how you can combat your fears, insecurities, your anxiety, or low self-esteem?
The world says, go out and conquer your fears by facing them. Lift yourself up so insecurity and low self-esteem disappear. Ease your anxiety with self help books! Though these worldly solutions can help you, they do not last. They are not filled with the Spirit of God and they do not point to Jesus, the only One who can heal, lift up, love, give peace, and give security.
Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, had such a fear of man. He was bold, but his boldness still rested on himself, his emotions, and depended on circumstances and others. When Jesus called Peter out to walk on the water, Peter was courageous as he looked at Jesus, but his eyes strayed and the waves created fear and he began to sink. When Jesus told His followers that He would have to die, Peter relied on his emotions and own thinking and told Jesus it would not happen, could not happen! Jesus rebuked him for not thinking of Christ and His glory first. And, when Jesus was arrested, 3 times, Peter was asked if he was a follower of Christ. Out of fear, insecurity, he denied Christ 3 times.
Yet, Christ corrects Peter’s focus in a beautiful moment. In John 21:15-17, Jesus asked Peter, three times, “Do you love me?”. Peter replies, three times, “Yes, Lord, I love you.” However, Jesus knows Peter’s heart and character. He knows Peter will struggle with identity and fear of man all his life. In fact, just after this interaction with Jesus, Peter immediately looks at John and compares himself to him. Still, I take heart in the fact that though Peter struggles with fear of man, Jesus chose him to be the rock of the church!
What really struck me this morning, is the practical application of this passage. When we are distracted and fear man or circumstances, when we feel insecure or anxious, we can have the same conversation Peter had with Jesus. Hear Him speak to you, tenderly, yet challenging you, “Do you love me?” And answer Him, “Yes, Lord, I love you.” Hear Him commission you to feed His lambs, take care of His sheep, and follow Him!