- Lorie Hedgepeth
“…therefore, seeing you know these things, beware, lest you also are led away
with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.”
(2 Peter 3:17)
Each of us know of individuals who once knew God but no longer walk with Him. Once in the church…perhaps in the ministry, but now distant and detached from what they once were and what they once did. At one point they were faithful and fervent, but now, the fire is gone, their priorities have changed and their life has taken another direction.
Peter urges us to beware….be alert so that we won’t be led away from a place of steadfastness in God. The very statement Peter makes in this verse, points to the reality that a person can be led away from a close walk with God. Hear me today…the hour is late, the time is short, life is uncertain - this is not the time to have one foot in the church and the other in the world.
Granted, things happen in our lives and ministries that Satan uses to undermine our faith. John the Baptist experienced a crisis of confidence and sent messengers to Jesus asking “Are you the one that should come, or look we for another?” After Jesus was arrested Peter cast aside his confidence and in fear denied that he even knew Jesus. Demas, part of Paul’s ministry team--can you imagine what he saw and experienced as he worked side-by-side with a passionate, persistent and Pentecostal Paul? Yet, Demas became distracted and quit. Paul said: “Demas hath left me having loved this present world!” It’s possible to become distracted and our attention become more on other things than on God. Distraction weakens our worship, our warfare and our witness.
Faith/confidence in our abilities, our talents, our personality, and our connections and resources will never carry us through the challenges of life and ministry. Faith/confidence in man will result in disappointment and bitterness. Our confidence must be in God and His Word. We can trust Him! He said He would never leave us or forsake us—we can trust Him! The Word says He is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother-we can trust Him! He said in this world we would have trouble, but to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world-we can trust Him! He said He would give us wisdom if we would ask Him—we can trust Him! He said that in His name we could lay hands on the sick and they would recover, that we would cast out demons and speak with new tongues-we can trust Him! He said we could ask anything in His Name and He would do it—we can trust Him! What a privilege to trust Him who was, who is and who is to come!
The words of the apostle Paul in Hebrews 10:35 give us wise counsel in the critical times in which we live:
“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward!”