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How Stable is Your Spiritual Fortress?

How Stable is Your Spiritual Fortress?

A person who acts hastily is an unstable person because his actions are not properly founded. This person is easily moved and swayed by the storms of persecutions and trials. For example, let’s look at what happened with Simon Peter.

Jesus had entered the region of Caesarea Philippi and asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of man, am?” (Matt. 16:13).

I’m sure there was a confused, fearful look on most of the disciples’ faces as they pondered this, mouths half open and speech-less. Suddenly the men who were so eager to speak, airing others’ opinions, were silenced. Perhaps they had never seriously asked this question of themselves. Whatever the case, they now realized they had no answer.

Jesus did what He does so well. He located their hearts with a question. He brought them to a true realization of what they did and did not know. They were living off the speculations of others, rather than establishing in their own hearts who Jesus really was. They had not confronted themselves.

Simon, who was renamed Peter by Jesus, was the only one of the disciples who could answer. He blurted out, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16).

Jesus then responded to Him by saying, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (v. 17).

Simon Peter was very hungry for the things of God. He asked the most questions. It was he who walked on water, while the other eleven watched. He was a man who would not settle for someone else’s opinion! He wanted to hear directly from the mouth of God.

This revealed knowledge of Jesus did not come by his senses, but it was a gift, illuminated in his heart in response to his hunger. Many had seen and witnessed what Simon Peter saw and witnessed, but their hearts were not as hungry to know the will of God as was Peter’s.

First John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you . . .”

This anointing was teaching Simon Peter. He heard what everyone else had to say, and then he looked inward to what God had revealed. Once you receive revealed knowledge from God, no one can sway you. When God reveals something to you, it doesn’t matter what the whole world says. They cannot change your heart.

Jesus then said to Simon Peter and the rest of the disciples, “On this rock [of knowledge revealed by God] I will build My church, and the gates of [hell] shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). So we see clearly that there is a sure foundation in the revealed Word of God; in this case it was Peter’s understanding that Jesus was the Son of God.

Jesus compared the unveiled Word of God to a rock. A rock speaks of stability and strength. We recall the parable of the two houses, with one built on rock and the other on sand. When adversity—such as persecution, tribulation, and affliction—stormed against both houses, the one built on sand was destroyed, while the house built on rock stood.

Some things we need to hear from God cannot be found in the Bible. For example, whom should we marry? Where should we work? What church should we join? And the list goes on. We must have the revealed Word of God for these decisions as well. Without it our decisions are founded on unstable ground.

What God reveals by His Spirit cannot be taken from us. This must be the foundation of all we do. Without it we will be easily offended by trials and tribulations that blindside us.

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