No matter how spiritually strong we are, anyone of us can stray from the will of God. Here Simon Peter, nicknamed the Rock, of which Jesus had said, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church,” caved under man’s pressure. Peter had been fellowshipping with Christian Gentiles until a group of Jews showed up and started pressuring him to stop. He was afraid that his reputation and standing might be questioned…fearful of what they might think of him…so he separated himself from the Gentiles…taking everyone with him, including Barnabas. Isaiah 51:12-13 asks this question, “Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker?” It’s a dangerous slippery slope when we start fearing man rather than God…afraid of what people may think of us rather than doing God’s will. Peer pressure can be tremendous, for we all want to fit in and be liked…but when it causes us to deviate from God’s plan…it effects everyone around us.
Jesus loves you. He knew your name before the beginning of time. He saw your tiny frame being formed in your mother’s womb and loved you even more. If you had been the only person on the face of the earth…He would of still handed over His life as a sacrifice for you…that’s how precious you are to Him. I know it’s humanly impossible to fathom the love Jesus has for us…for it’s beyond our comprehension. But Jesus loves you with a love that will never end…never give up…never forsake.
Paul realized that he would never be able to please everyone by his ministry. No matter how he approached people, he found some would listen…some would scoff…and some would take offense. When we’re a people-pleaser, our focus is to deliberately and intentionally mollify our message…to water it down in order to be palatable for all, but in the process every ounce of Holy Spirit power is leached out. God isn’t calling us to be wishy-washy, lukewarm Christians who try to be “politically correct” with every person we meet. Paul understood that his allegiance was to Jesus Christ and not to the crowds…his total dependence was then on the Master of the universe not man.
How many times have I put God in a little box…expecting Him to behave in a certain manner, showing up and fulfilling His duties, only to see Him move in a completely unexpected and surprising way. That’s when all my welled planned out intentions are blown out of the water and I have to admit again…He is God and I am not. God’s Will isn’t up to me, nor do I have any control over it. It’s God that chooses when, where and how to move…not me. My job is only to be flexible and submissive when He throws me a curve ball.
Have you ever been mocked for your faith? Maybe it was something general like, “It’s only the weak that need religion.” Or maybe it was pointed like, ” You’re stupid to think that there’s a God!” Either way, when someone ridicules and laughs at our belief in God, they’re treating our precious Lord with contempt. So stand strong when you’re scoffed at for your beliefs… don’t be tempted to compromise or cave in when poked fun at, for God’s shoulders are very broad and He can take the taunts. And besides, as this verse reveals, He can and will not be mocked.
To place in proper order… Paul wasn’t teaching that women were inferior to men, quite the opposite. In an age when women were downgraded and looked upon as mere property – Paul declared that in Christ there was no distinction in status between men and women (Gal. 3:28). He had even called the married couple, Priscilla and Aquila, by the same word…synergous – which meant “fellow workers.” God is a God of order, and by freely placing ourselves in submission in an orderly fashion under our husbands, we allow the blessings of the Lord to flow.
To know God is a journey that takes a lifetime…each day drawing nearer and receiving more. But the true miracle is being known by Him. For there will come a day when we all must stand before the Lord… either to be recognized and acknowledged or rejected.