I want to start a series that will be
called the secret place and I want to talk about our relationship with Jesus, it’s
my favorite topic and I believe it’s the most important thing in that christian
walk with God. Most of the people that come and get saved in our church are not
people who are new to faith.They are people who have lost their faith, people
who have become we call them post christians. Even our country has become
post christian. A lot of people went to church as children, they went to youth
group as teenagers, and then they went to college. And then you know things happen
in life. Challenges that happen I corrected my good wonderful leader Eric
because there’s a misconception that happens is that if you really know God
you will have no problems. And I know Eric said that in the feet of the
passion. But that’s false. I’ve said it myself and that’s wrong because Jesus is
in this world you will have tribulation. No matter how cool actually some Jesus
had troubles and he was in the center of God’s will. And sometimes we prepare
people for a fantasy life that doesn’t exist, and we babysit christians instead
of raising an army. And teaching them to depend not on a pastor’s revelation or
pastor’s flame but their own flame their own relationship with God. It’s important
to have prophets but we need to learn the voice of God. It’s important to have
pastors but we need to have a devotional life. It’s important to go through a
prayer line but every person has to have a prayer life and so that’s what I
wanted to encourage each one of us. Jesus says is in this world you will have
tribulations but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.
So Jesus doesn’t tell us that in this world there will never be troubles and
if you really make God the center of your life that you know you will never
have a special-needs child, that you will never have a trouble in your work, that
you will never have an issue in your health. What the Lord says is be of good
cheer because I have overcome the world. I’m with you and together we will
overcome that as well. Can somebody say Amen!
I genuinely believe God wants to bring us back and the reason I made the
correction with Eric is because it’s a correction I need to make it for myself.
I made those statements before and you know honestly after you kind of grow out
of your parents house. Start paying for your own bills face some of your own
challenges and you realize you know some of these fancy thoughts that we say
sometimes they’re actually not scriptural. Amen. My desire today is today
is the Holy Spirit Sunday. We’re believing for the baptism of the Holy
Spirit. We’re believing for the activation of the gifts of God. We
believing in to draw us back to an intimacy and to a closeness with the
Holy Spirit. And the story that I want to take today is from Peter’s denial of
Jesus. Matthew chapter 26 it says the following in verse 33 and verse 34.
Peter answered and said to him even if all are made to stumble because of you I
will never be made to stumble. Jesus said to him,
assuredly I say to you that this night before the rooster crows, you will deny
me three times. I want to talk about today warming at the wrong fire. Warming
yourself up at the wrong fire.The fire of the devil, the fire of the world, the
fire that the devil presents to us. Before we get to the warming ourselves
at the wrong fire, I want to look at Peters journey of leaving Jesus. And the
reason why I want to talk about Peter is because Peter was like many of us here
in this room. Peter experienced Jesus. Peter has seen
Jesus. Peter has seen miracles. In fact Peter was even experienced how to
pray for the sick with his own hands. Peter experienced how to cast out demons.
So Peter wasn’t new to faith and Peter wasn’t new to the miracles. Peter experieced all of these awesome great things and then right at at the time
that Jesus supposed to die, he tells his disciples a promise. This is not a
suggestion, this is not a invitation. He’s actually a promise, he says that all of
you will be made stumble because of me today. And Peter has the audacity to rebuke our
Lord Jesus Christ.This wasn’t the first time that has happened. Peter says, Jesus
everybody will, I know because they’re weak sauce.
Me on the other hand, I’m the real deal. I’m never gonna deny you. And Jesus says
because you said that, you’ll do it three times. When the rooster crows. When I read
the Gospel of John, I see that John had a different view of himself than Peter. If
you read the Gospel of John you will see that John refers to himself in the third
person. He said a disciple Jesus loved. John had a different perspective of
Jesus than Peter. Peter always boasted of how much he loved Jesus. John boasted of
how much Jesus loved John. It’s not that John didn’t love Jesus is that John did
the comparison between his love for Jesus and Jesus is love for John and
felt embarrassed about bragging about his love for Jesus when the abundance of
Jesus’s love for him was so much greater. Peter on the other hand lived conscious
of how much he loved Jesus. He tried to prove things to people. He tried to make
it loud and it was very emotional very hype man. And he quickly found out that
his love for Jesus is not as big as he thinks he is. The first way or the first
step that we take that’s unconscious well which lead us to backsliding and
leads us to getting further from intimacy with God is this. And I’m gonna
name it by Peter, is that Peter focused on his love for Jesus more than Jesus’s
love for him. When you begin to focus on how much you love God your love for God
will diminish. When you focus on how much you love God instead of how much God
loves you, few things will happen. If you’re taking
notes and we have these notes in the YouVersion Bible app as well. Number one,
what will happen is that you will live for approval instead of living out of
acceptance that God already has given to you. You will always do things
unconsciously to prove something, to prove to Jesus you better than others. To
prove to Jesus you really can pray more than others. To prove something to Jesus.
And the problem with proving is anybody who does things for God to prove
cannot be consistent. There is no power in you to sustain your love for Jesus.
There is only in Jesus the power to sustain you. You don’t have a power in
yourself. You’re a branch, I am a branch, He’s the vine. I’m not the source
I’m just the channel. But the reason why we focus more and how much we love God
is because we’re trying to prove something. We have to pause and realize
we already been accepted, we already been approved, we already have been beloved.
The price has already been paid and God doesn’t need you to do anything to earn
his love. You just need to receive it. Somebody give God some praise right now! People who seek focus more on their love
for Jesus than his love for them, not only they seek to prove something but
they also end up making empty promises. Instead of living out of the fullness of
his presence. When you focus on God’s love for you, you make less promises but
you make progress. The more the more I see people making promises are like
Peter, I’ll never I’ll never I will. I’ve seen this through ministry so many
times and I have been guilty of this more than once myself. I will do this I
will do that and then you quickly find out that the emotion which caused you to
make the promise has died down and then you feel disappointed because now you’re
not men of your word. You don’t keep your promises. when you focus on how much God
loves you, you make less promises because you live more in his presence. The more
promises you make. It shows you’re not living out of his love for you, you’re
living out of your love for him. And at first the religion will applaud you and
say awesome that is great. But you know you can’t live those promises out. You
disappointed in yourself because you break your own promises. You break your
own things that you have promised and alleged to God and to others. And the
best way to fix that is to stop making promises and start living in his
presence. When you focus more on your love for God than his love for you, not
only you make promises instead of living in his presence but you will live on
emotions instead of have devotion. You will live on hype instead of having
habits that sustain you throughout your life. You’re a person whose flame is only
big when somebody pours gasoline on it. But the logs that produced the fire
consistently are not there. The habits, the disciplines are not there. People who
are not fueled by their love for God are emotional roller coasters. One day
yes Lord! Another day they’re nowhere to be found.
They are the people who shout Hosanna one day and shouted crucify another day.
God doesn’t want us to be emotional roller coasters he wants us to be
devoted to him. Through the rain, through the snow, through the thick, and through
the thin. And in order for that to happen you have to be a person who mentally
switches all your prayer, all your fasting, all of your sacrifice, is not to
prove anything. It’s because you’ve been approved. It’s because you’ve been
accepted. It’s not to show God that you love Him. It’s simply you’re responding
to the love you’re receiving from Him. First John chapter 4 verse 19 it says we
love Him because He first loved us. We don’t love Him so that He can love us. We
love Him because He first loved us. If you don’t know the first He loves you
you can’t love Him as a response. You love Him to earn something. I’m just a
ball like a moon. I only can project the light I reflect. I only can reflect the
light I receive. And so is with us. When my love for Jesus dies down. I have one
option is to become emotional. It’s to become a hype man. It’s to become like
Peter beat myself in the chest that I will do better, I will fast 21 days, I will
give all my money, but all of that will get me to the same place that I got
Peter to disappointment and discouragement. Because it doesn’t have a
fuel from within. But when I stopped and said Jesus it’s not about my love for
you, it’s about your love for me. Something happens. My love grows but the
last thing that I found personally when you focus more on your love for Jesus
instead of his love for you. Is your passion lacks compassion. Remember when Peter made a promise that
I’ll never never forsake you Jesus? And he was passionate for Jesus. And then in
the garden some guy was trying to arrest Jesus. Peter pulls out a knife and he
gives him some Holy Ghost knife skills. The guy cuts his ear off. How many people
do the same thing in their passion for Jesus they hurt others . If your passion
for Jesus causes you not to love your family, it’s not anchored in Jesus. It’s
anchored in you trying to prove something. If your holiness doesn’t lead
you to happiness, if your holiness doesn’t lead you to bless other people,
and be kind to other people, your holiness is religion. Because true love
that comes from the Father that goes through you it always leads from passion
to compassion. Any passion that avoids compassion has not been anchored in
Jesus. It’s being anchored in us. I have to, you have to watch yourself
sometimes. You’re fasting and you’re there pressing in to the Lord and coming.
And your child is asking for something. And you feel like it’s a little demon
they came against you. Shut up! I’m praying! Don’t you see I’m fasting on my second
day already! Or your spouse wants to spend time and
you say I rebuke you Satan. You’re not mindful of spiritual things but only of
the things of men. And then you have to pause yourself in
you say, what is this devil speaking out of me right now? What is going on with me?
You know what’s going on with you? You’re Peter right now. You’re trying to prove
something. If your passion lacks compassion it’s not anchored in Jesus.
Peter he focused more on how much he loved Jesus instead of how much Jesus
loved him. First John chapter 4 verse 19 says we love Him because He first loved
us. The second thing that I see the step that went with Peter, if you take notes
write this down, is that Peter slept when he was supposed to be praying. The
scripture says in Luke chapter 22 verse 31 and 32 it says, and the Lord said
Simon Simon indeed satan has asked for you that he may sift you as wheat. But
I’ve prayed for you that your faith shall not fail. And when you have
returned to me strengthen your brethren. Peter makes promises he cannot keep
because he’s focusing on his love for Jesus. Peter, his passion lacks compassion.
Peter is a lot of emotion, a lot of hype. And then we see that the real test comes
in. It’s Monday morning prayer. The real test kicks in. Is the next day when the
emotion faded, and your time with the Lord. That you have scheduled or God is
scheduled with you. Whether this morning, noon, or night whenever that you have
that. For Peter it was at night. It was after already I meal a Passover meal.
Jesus takes them together and Jesus tells them to to watch with Him, to be
with Him, and they all start to fall asleep. But before that Jesus correct
something about Simon. He says Simon Simon. It’s interesting because Simon is
the name that his mom and dad gave him. It means unstable, unreliable. But when
Jesus meets Simon, He gives him a new name Peter, meaning a rock a little
rock stable solid. So Jesus gives him a new identity. But in this scripture for
the first time in three-and-a-half years Jesus refers to Peter by his old name
the one he himself changed. Why? Because anytime you opt to prayerlessness you
resurrection your past. Your past issues will be awakened if
your prayer life goes to sleep. People say I’ve been delivered 150%. But you
must understand everything you’ve been delivered from is dormant. If your prayer
life goes to sleep your past wakes up. But if your prayer wakes up your past
goes to sleep. A praying man will stop sinning and a sinning man will stop
praying. We must understand, Jesus tells Peter and the disciples watch and pray
lest you enter into temptation. You may say but I’ve been with Jesus for three
and a half years my issues are done. I am done with a hundred fifty percent. But we
have to understand is that the enemy wastes no time. He’s always there. This is
not to warn us, scare us, but this is to motivate us to seek the face of Jesus. If
you don’t pray you will stray. Sleeping Saints will become slipping Saints,
tripping Saints. Okay my rapping vocabulary is done. Are you with me?
Mark chapter 14 it says, sit here while I pray. Somebody say this
with me. Say sit here while I pray. I want you to see the prayer life that Jesus
asked him to engage in. Sit here while I pray. And this is the following,
then He took Peter James and John with Him and began to be troubled and deeply
distressed. And he said to them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful even to death. Stay here and watch. It touched me that Jesus did not ask his disciples to
intercede, do a spiritual warfare, or even pray. His definition of prayer in this
situation was this, sit here while I pray. Sit here and watch Me pray. In Hebrews
7:25 it says that that He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to
God through him. For He always lives to make intercession for them. The word
save in Hebrews 7:25 it means sanctification.
Meaning as a christian when you’re being transformed at the image of Jesus. So
He’s able to save to the outermost meaning he’s able to perfect me. He’s
able to change me all the way til I become like Him uttermost. Because I keep
coming to God. So He’s not praying for anybody. He’s come praying for those whom
He started the process of changing because they come to God through Him. And
Jesus in here introduces a new prayer life. He says a prayer life is not just
when you pray, it’s when you come you sit and you realize. I’m praying for you. So
you’re not praying alone, you’re always having a prayer partner. His name is
Jesus. You don’t go to prayer to find
God. You go to prayer to pray with God. Not just to God you’re praying with Jesus
in your prayer. Some of you you come to prayer searching for Jesus. Jesus is not
lost. He’s already waiting for you in your
prayer room. Go to your secret place and pray to your Father who is in secret.
He’s already there. He is waiting for you. He says come and sit here while I pray,
while I intercede for you. Now that doesn’t mean you don’t need to pray. You
need to pray. You need to intercede but you must embrace this revelation. That
Jesus Christ always lives to make intercession for you according to
Hebrews chapter 7 verse 25. You must embrace the revelation that in your
prayer room Jesus is already there. And like disciples He’s inviting us. Sit
here and watch as I pray. You know interesting part. I think this is the
first time where Jesus became vulnerable. Did you see what we read? It says
that He became distressed and He started to say to His disciples, I have sorrow in
my heart. Some of us don’t stay long enough in prayer to release burdens. But
there are many of us in here. We don’t stay long enough to receive His burden.
Prayer is not just when you come for a checkmark. Prayer has two important parts
that will make you become addicted to prayer. This is the first one. It’s when
you find time to release things to Jesus. Cast your burdens on the Lord because he
cares for you. If you come to prayer and leave the same you didn’t do right
prayer. You got to release things to God. I’m not saying everything will get fixed.
It comes off of your shoulder when you become honest and vulnerable with God.
When you when you release things to Him. And say Jesus, I leave it at your feet.
Matthew 11:28 it says that come to Me all of you who labor and a heavy burden
and I will give you rest. That’s the release part.
But the part that I’m guilty of is I love to release things to God and I feel
so much lighter. But in Matthew 11 verse 29 and 30 it says take My burden upon
yourself and you will find rest for your soul. For I am, and learn from Me, for I am
gentle and lowly in heart. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Jesus says
the real fulfillment in life is not to have no burden. It’s to have His burden
on you. Prayer is not just to release my pain.It is to receive his purpose. Have you
ever stayed long enough in prayer to hear God cry? Have you ever went to prayer
to hear Jesus become so vulnerable that Jesus you knew the walks on water,
commands the waves, confuses the Pharisees, raises the dead people,
cleanses the lepers, demons tremble at the sound of his name that Jesus becomes
so vulnerable? That He becomes distressed. Have you ever
lingered long enough to receive his heart? To get His vision for the world. To
get His vision for your family. That you you changed the paradigm, the shift, the
filter through which you look people. Because Jesus opened yourself up to the
secret place of his heart. And he tells the Pharisees. He says I am deeply
distressed, I’m scared. Jesus, you’re God. See there is a place in
God where God is vulnerable with you. And God shares his heart. And that’s what
prayer makes prayer addictive. That’s what makes prayer unique and incredible.
It’s not just the check mark. It’s not just the discipline and the rigid
thing that you do. It’s to release and receive.
Is to know that He’s there. And to stay long enough that you can release your
burden. But linger long enough that you can get a glimpse of His. Of His love for
people. Sometimes when I preach and I prepare for a message.
I go to prayer and not always to get a sermon. Not always to get a, God give me a
word of knowledge for somebody who needs to be healed. A lot of times I go in and
I stay there. And I just stay there and I say God, let me feel Your heart toward
the people. Let me preach out of Your heart. I want to experience that. I want a
little bit have my heart rubbed with Yours. I want I want you God to be
vulnerable with me the way you were with disciples. Prayer is for relationship.
God is not gonna make you pray. That’s rape. God invites you, that’s a choice. He
says come stay with Me. Watch with Me. If you don’t do that. It’s not that
God is threatening you, saying well you know what I’ll resurrect all of your old
demons. It’s not that you know you will say but Vlad you’re saying that
my motivation has to be to pray so so I don’t resurrect my past. That’s not
your motivation. But if you’re not motivated by the love of God, at least be
motivated by the wrath of your enemy. Let something get you off your couch. But if I
turn off the lights in this room right now how many of you know that I don’t
have to invite the darkness. The darkness is already here. It’s only suppressed by
the presence of light. Your old demons are there. It’s only suppressed by the
presence of Jesus. And the moment you say no to Jesus they all come back. It’s not
that God is punishing it’s just the way this world works. We live in the dark,
broken, scary, world. And our only advantage is the light of the Holy
Spirit, intimacy with God, and the life that is devoted and close to Jesus. Any
prayer warriors we got in this house this morning? Anybody who will say I’m
gonna live a life of prayer? I’m gonna seek the face of God. I’m not gonna be
a Simon, I’m gonna be a Peter. Why? Because I will release my burden and I will
receive His yoke. Anybody in this house like that this morning? Give God some
praise right now. Come on somebody! Alleluja! The scripture says that Peter focused on his love for Jesus. Peter slept when he was supposed
to be praying. But the part that I want you to see is Peter followed Jesus at a
distance to preserve his life. So after he boasts about how passionate he is.
He sleeps when he’s supposed to be praying. But I want you to see this in
Matthew 26 verse 58. But Peter followed him at a distance to the high priests
courtyard and he went in and sat with the servants to see the end. See Peter
followed Jesus close when he made him famous and rich. Peter followed Jesus very
close when it made him popular. Peter followed Jesus very close when Jesus walked on
water heal the sick and honestly Peter status went up. But now when there is a
threat that Jesus, there is a chance Jesus might die Jesus Peter exercises
human wisdom. He says hey I’m not sure I want to be very closely connected with
this guy right now. I mean who knows he’s gonna end up on the cross for stuff he
said that I didn’t even agree with. And I want I don’t want to be all around there.
But I don’t want to deny him he’s my friend we’ve been together. So what Peter
does is what many christians do regularly. I will follow Jesus but at a
distance. So I can keep my convenience and my comfort. Because to follow Jesus
close requires sacrifice. But to follow Jesus at a distance you can still keep
your life. To follow Jesus close you have to lay it down. Have you ever had
friends that visit you in town and you decided to take him to a badger Mountain?
Or some kind of an awesome place in Tri-cities? There’s not many of them
but maybe to a view. You wanted to show them
the view. It’s a beautiful place in Tri-cities. it’s a view. And you couldn’t
find a map for it. Or you couldn’t find the location for it. So what you told
your friends out of town is to get in their car and to do what? Follow you. And
you told them just to stay close to me and when you got out of the house they
followed you, everything was good. And the streets that you live in, 25
miles per hour there’s no traffic. Until you get to the highway. And then there’s
other cars trying to get in between. And don’t you hate when the person that is
following you decides to speed. Not speed but drive like 20 miles
lower than the speed limit. And you’re losing them, and you’re stopping them, and
you’re pulling over. And that’s exactly what’s happening here. Is that Jesus is
driving. He is pursuing the will of God for his life. It’s costing him his life.
It’s costing him his comfort. It’s costing him his health. And Peter is
following Jesus on the streets with 25 miles per hour. Peter was pretty close
but then then got to the highway of life where you’re required to lay something
down and Peter says well I’m gonna take take it easy. I’m going to keep at my
pace. Many of us in this room we follow Jesus at a distance when we don’t give,
we don’t fast, and we don’t do anything that disturbs our comfortable made up
Christian American life. Matthew chapter 16 verse 24 it says the
following, Jesus said to his disciples if anyone desires to come after me let him
deny himself pick up his cross and follow Me.
This is not gonna get a lot of amens right now. But I’m just gonna tell you
the way it is. You will deny Jesus if you don’t deny you. Somebody will have to be
denied. You will deny Jesus if you don’t deny you. I will deny Jesus if I don’t
deny Vlad. Jesus is not saying to kill Vlad.
He just says deny Vlad. Meaning if I want to follow you on a highway to your
destination. I got a speed up to your pace not cause you to slow down to mine.
I gotta do my best make sure no Hyundai gets between me and you. I gotta
do my best make sure I keep up with you instead of expecting you to keep up with
me. And Jesus is saying I came to give my life as a ransom I’m not slowing down to
accommodate your complacency. You need to speed things up. You gotta step up. This
life is only one. You either gonna give it to me are you gonna waste it in sin
or racket my selfishness. Speed things up. Speed things up. You got to deny yourself.
Somebody say deny yourself! It’s interesting Jesus did not say that
he will deny you. He says you must do that. God is not gonna make you deny
you if you don’t want to do that Jesus says you know what that’s your choice
but I gotta follow the will of God. According to the open doors USA in 2019.
Each day eleven christians are killed for their faith in the top fifty
countries ranked in the world. In last year alone according to the open doors
USA there’s more than 215 million christians persecuted worldwide. And 1 in
12 live in countries where christianity is illegal, forbidden, and punished. We
live in a nation today where we’re debating a lot of other completely
things that honestly do not harm our life. But I want to tell you something. The the root of christianity has never been for the
comfortable and complacent people. You can believe in Jesus and keep your life.
But you cannot follow Jesus and keep your life. And most of us our life is the
problem we have with. Maybe it’s time to lay it down. The generation, young
generation today takes their life. The leading cause of death among the
Millennials is suicide. I have a better option than taking your life. lay it down. You can either waste your life, wreck
your life, or you can lay your life down. You only have one life. It will soon be
past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.
I want to challenge you today. Let’s overcome the gap between us and God. When
you stop sacrificing you start following God at a distance. When God prompts you
to give something, where God prompts you to fast, when God prompts you to get on
your knees, when God prompts you to forgive, when God prompts you to move out
of that abusive relationship, when God prompts you to give that up that thing
that’s straining your life, listen. Deny yourself pick up your cross and follow
Jesus. There you will fight new life, you will find
new joy, there you will find new blessing. You will find something on the
other side. Give God some praise right now! It’s easier to sacrifice sin than to
sacrifice self. For many of us it’s not easy to sacrifice drugs and other things
because they’re harming us. But the part that’s hard to sacrifice is self. Peter he
focuses on himself his love for Jesus instead of Jesus’s love for him. And then
it leads to sleeping slumbering in prayer. And then it leads to the fact
that when you start sleeping in prayer when your devotional life is sleeping. I
can pretty much right now do a prophetic diagnosis on your soul and mine as well.
You stop sacrificing. Your life bears no sacrifice. You can be a
christian and be poor but you can’t be a christian and be stingy. You can be a
christian and honestly have trouble in your life but your life has to care has
to carry a mark of cross bearing and self-denial. Your self-denial will look
different than mine. But I challenge you as believers and this challenge is to
myself. I want to follow Jesus close. He followed His Father close. I only got
one life and I want to live this life following Him close. I know it might offend some
people. I had people who say you know the way you guys do offering is
manipulative. And you know one time I had a person who accused me of this. To
check their giving record when I found out is zero then I ignore that that
advice. Because if somebody who gives nothing tells me how I should give. If I
can’t take your advice I don’t take your criticism. Accuse me, call me whatever you
do, but I can tell you one thing. My desire is to live with eternity in mind
as when I die to look back at my life and not to regret but to live for a
reward that’s eternal. I’m pretty sure people looked at
Jesus and say you’re insane. You’re 33 years of age. You’re ruining your health.
Romans are gonna take your body right now. You’re taking these 12 men and
you have manipulated them and lied to them. And now they’ve wasted their life and
their business and all for what? For nothing. They’re all gonna die being
crucified upside down or burned or everything. But see, Jesus didn’t buy into
self-preservation because He knows this life is short on Earth.
He lived for salvation not preservation. Christians I understand this might be
hard for some of you. Maybe you’re not there, put it on the back shelf. But for
those of you who started to follow Jesus please follow him close or don’t follow
him at all. You will get lost on the highway of life if you don’t follow him
close. And your christianity will be so confusing, boring, dull, that honestly it
will look like the other people having more fun and they do. Because at least
they’re following whatever they do to the full speed. If you follow Jesus
follow Him all the way. God will give you the grace. You will find when you give
your life you will find a new life. But when you keep your life it will slip
through your fingers. Most of us will have a hard time preserving our life
because it will be wrecked. It will be wasted. But if we give it God will give
us something fresh, something new in Jesus name. Peter after that
something else happens in Peters life. We’re bringing this message to a close, is
that Peter begins to warm himself at the wrong fire. So he’s overconfident in his
love for Jesus. He sleeps in prayer. Peter follows Jesus at a distance meaning he’s
afraid of sacrifice. He lives to preserve himself instead of give his life and
then Peter finds himself. And I want you to see this verse in John chapter 18
verse 18. It says now these servants and officers who made a fire of coals stood
there for it was cold and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and
warmed himself. Mark 14:54 says but Peter followed him at a distance right into
the courtyard of the high priest and he set with the servants and warmed himself
at the fire. Every time you stop sacrificing, your christianity becomes
boring. And that’s when the devil makes things you were delivered from
attractive. World’s fire has three characteristics.
One is attractive. World’s fire is only attractive for those whose affection for
Jesus has been lost. If you have an affection for the Lord I’m not saying
the world is not going to be enticing but it’s not gonna be attractive to you.
Your flesh will not be attracted by those things. The scripture says in first
John chapter 2 verse 25 it says do not love the world or the things in this
world. If you love the world the love of the Father is not in you. Meaning if the
world is attracted to my flesh that means that my spirit has no longer been
enjoying the presence of my Father. And for me that’s how I examine my heart.
When I’m drawn by the things. I’m not saying I’m doing those things. We’re not
saying that Peter already forsaken Jesus, he’s just finding warmth in the places
he used to be repelled by. In the places he doesn’t belong. This is not his crowd
this is not his gang. That’s not his clique. This is not a squad this is not
his world. And he pretends like he belongs there. Puts his hand out there
and is warming yourself the same way these people warming himself. Why?Because
anytime you go to sleeping prayer life following Jesus at a distance you will
have to have a fire. You don’t have a Holy Ghost fire but you have to have a
fire. Yes it’s not a church but there’s some other place your hands are stuck into.
Your eyes are glued to, your heart is drawn into. Why? Because now the world is
attractive. And church is boring. The Bible is boring it’s the same book.
So is booze, it’s the same. So is the TV shows they’re the same.
The world presents becomes attractive why because the fire of God is not there.
And anytime there is no fire you were created to live with fire. The devil
presents his flame and you stick your hands out there you begin to warm
yourself. The second thing about world’s fire not only its attractive it’s
addictive. Because Peter at the world’s fire denies Jesus and he lies about the
fact he knew Jesus. A servant girl not a high priest, not a soldier, a servant a
slave girl who has no influence in the court asks him a question, says weren’t
you with Jesus? And he says I have no idea who you’re talking about.
And the Bible says and the second time and the third time. Why? Because the
world’s fire is addictive. You begin to do that thing, to do with that thing, to
do that thing, and you say I need to stop. I need to stop. I know this is wrong I
need to stop. But something about a magnetic field of the world fire that
makes you do it again, and again, and again, and again. And a third factor of
the world’s fire is it destroys your relationship with Jesus. It’s annihilating.
It ruins your relationship with Jesus. Annihilates your intimacy with God. The
scripture says Jesus walked by he looked at Peter and Peter broke down. World’s
fire his attractive, world’s fire is addictive, and the world’s fire
is annihilating, destroys your intimacy with God. And some people in this room
today that’s where you’re at right now. You’re drawn by the things you used to
be delivered by. And your hands are already in that fire. You’re following
Jesus you comfort yourself. But I’m still christian. My status at HungryGen is a
member. I got water baptized. I go to maybe a life group. Perhaps I’ll read the
scripture or maybe you’re visiting us today for the first time. And you
recognize I’m just describing I’m pretty much describing your history right now.
The best part about Peter’s life is it it didn’t end there. But before it started
to change there’s one more thing that happened. Is that after this Peter went
back to his old life. You would think that Peter would change after this and
realize that everything is wrong but Peter after this decides to go back to
his old life. Why does that happen? It’s because Peter had regret not revival.
Regret cannot fix you. A regret is a magnet that pulls you back into your
past life stronger than the devil himself. Regret is not a cure otherwise
the cross is in vain. Peter felt regret and he even wept only to go back to his
old life. Judas felt regret and Judas took a step further after he denied
Jesus. Judas felt, well if I turn this regret into retribution, meaning if I
give back to if I try to make things right, things will get better only to be
hanged by the rope, not realizing not very far from him Jesus was being hanged
for his sin already. If you are far away from God, if your intimacy with God is
not what it’s supposed to be, if your prayer life is sleeping and you find
yourself attracted addicted and destroyed by the fire of the world I
want to tell you something. The solution is not guilt, condemnation, regret or
remorse. The solution is the blood of Jesus. The solution is the fire of the
Holy Ghost. The solution is God encountering you today, touching you,
touching your life and burning you from the head up to the soles of your feet. I’ve tried cleaning a dirty window with
the dirty rag, it only gets messy. God doesn’t ask you to make things right he
says come get right with me and we will make things right in your life. The devil
will lie to you and say next week and try better but next weekend things will
only get worse. The devil will lie to you say cleanup your life before you come to Him
but you will only find yourself going deeper deeper and deeper.
Stop! Making things better they will never get better on your own. Run to
God. There is a Jesus on the shore of your beach has a fire built right now
and has a breakfast prepared for you and is calling out your name and he says
Peter how’s your fishing how’s your life Peter? And Peter gets vulnerable and says
Jesus, I didn’t catch anything. I don’t want to rub into your face but I knew that
will happen. Cast your net to the other side and when that happened scripture
says Peter realized remorse couldn’t fix me. The other fire only burned my life
and Peter does something that every person should do today maybe not into
that extent is Peter jumps without even putting his clothes on and swims to Jesus.
And now Peter finds himself at a different fire. At this fire it wasn’t
built by the enemies of Jesus. It was built by Jesus himself, the Baptizer
with fire, the consuming fire. He built this fire. Peter comes to this fire. See,
the other fire Jesus was being tried and persecuted but at this fire Jesus is
triumphant. And the other fire Peter got warm but at this fire Peter got restored.
And the other fire he denied Jesus three times, at this fire he reaffirmed his
love for Jesus three times. Jesus is building a fire right now in
this place and he’s not wanting to judge you for where you’ve been and how far
you’ve fallen and what you smoked and who you slept with and where you’ve done.
He knows that and some of that has happened because of all the spiral that
you have went. Jesus didn’t go poking about his past. He knows one
thing, this Peter right now it needs an encounter with the flame of God. What I
love about this is that not long day after Peter has an encounter with
another fire that comes from his hands inside of his spirit. It wrecks Peters so
good that Peter for the rest of his life lived a different man. Peter never backslid again. Peter didn’t go back to his old life. Peter went to prison for Jesus,
stood in front of high priests and soldiers and wasn’t afraid, was not
educated but bold about his relationship with Jesus. They said we forbid you to
preach and he says who do you think you are that I will disobey God and obey you.
Something different about Peter. The history says Peter went to Rome and when
Nero and his 10th anniversary’ decided to blame the Christians for the fire in
Rome, started to kill them just for fun. And they brought Peter to kill him and
Peter stopped the soldiers. the history says and he says you can’t crucify me
like Jesus. I don’t deserve that kind of death. Flip me upside-down. Why? Because
something happens when you encounter the fire of God. There are apostles sitting in
this room right now. There are pastors that are sitting in
this room right now. But you’re like Peter and the devil is lying to you say
you’re a backslider. I say listen you’re just working on your testimony and Jesus
is calling you back to the fire. He’s calling you back to the Holy Spirit.
The devil says but listen what you’ve done, you lost your virginity, you lost
your purity, your driving record is a mess.
Everybody knows for who you to be like that. People will never trust you again
but Jesus says I have a fire. Ohh and how I want this fire to be kindled.
Peter! come. Peter! come. Because I’m about to restore you. Because I’m about to put you back
together. Because I’m about to deliver you. Because I’m about to set you on fire.
What you need today is an encounter with the Holy Spirit. Remorse retribution guilt and shame is
not gonna fix you. Only Holy Spirit will. And today I’m gonna invite you. Not only
the Peters but the John’s. We all need the fire of God.
We all need an encounter with the Holy Spirit, and I’m not just talking about
putting our hands into it and just speaking in tongues. That’s good.
it to come inside of you that you begin to prophesy, that you begin to see visions
and dreams, that you began to live differently and that the world loses its
attraction to you because of affection of the Father has gripped your soul.
Let’s rise to our feet. If you recognize today Vlad, this is me. I
need the fire of God in my life. I ask that you quickly come out of your seat and
just come here. Whether you’re walking away from the Lord or you just saying I
just need more of Jesus, I want Holy Spirit’s fire, just begin to come. Let’s
begin to come. I want every single person in this church today let’s begin to come.
Young and old this is this is for us. If your prayer life’s supposed to go to our
next level just come. If you’re recognizing your sacrifice. if you recognize today were you supposed to be with the Lord
just begin to come. Grab your neighbor and come, just come. Just come. Every
single christian, every single believer today this is for you my friends. This is
where you just come close and just begin and begin to seek the Holy Spirit right now.