"What kind of person has the power of the Holy Spirit? When our lives are renewed and transformed, we no longer live, but Christ lives in us. We might not rely on ourselves but on the Holy Spirit, and we are full of the power of the Holy Spirit."
Recently, Zhang Zhongqiu preached a message on WeChat entitled "Morning Prayer" and shared the fifth lecture entitled "Victory in the Workplace". This time he shared about the Biblical character of Peter. Peter was originally a fisherman and had no high education. However, with the advent of the Holy Spirit, he preached with the power of the Holy Spirit and 3,000 people were baptized. Peter's life experienced transformation and renewal, and he was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. The pastor shared the following three points about the change in Peter.
1. From confession to obstruction
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16) Peter's confession was very important, and the church was built on this foundation.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:21-23)
After Peter made this very important confession, he immediately did a wrong thing and blocked the work of Christ. In fact, he merely had human concerns in mind, but not the concerns of God. Peter did not want his teacher to be crucified, which was reasonable from a human point of view.
But from the spiritual perspective, God wants to rescue us and to rescue us all. To be rescued means that God restores the sovereignty in our lives. It means we must obey the Lord.
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:17-18) Jesus praised Peter, who had a sense of accomplishment and now dared to speak, "Lord, don't do this, this will not happen to you." When Peter himself became his own master, he blocked God's work and blessings in his life, and could not experience God's salvation.
"When the grace given by the Lord causes boasting, and it becomes the capital for self-mastery and closes the channel of God's blessing. And when you are humble, kneel down, and completely obey the Lord, the channel is open, and the power of the Holy Spirit will freely flow into your life," the pastor shared.
2. From pride to cowardice
Peter vowed that he would follow Jesus and said that he would lay down his life for the Lord. But when confronted by a young girl, he denied the Lord three times. Here we see Peter changing from pride to cowardice.
When Jesus was arrested, Peter stood up and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant. Maybe we are not as good as Peter. But Peter’s hot-headedness is due to his physical temper, not a real "fire" in the spirit. This physical temper is completely unbearable in the face of spiritual things and cannot withstand Satan’s attacks and disturbances in the midst of a spiritual battle.
The power in the spirit must be the "fire" in Spirit and the renewal of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus lovingly looked at Peter. After the rooster had crowed, the Lord looked upon Peter with loving eyes. After Jesus was resurrected, he searched for Peter himself. When the Holy Spirit came, Peter recovered completely and bravely preached to 3,000 people. He could also sleep peacefully while in prison. In the end, he was brave in being crucified as a martyr.
The Holy Spirit allows us to stand upright and makes us brave in facing death, various tribulations in the church, and deceit in interpersonal relationships. This is entirely from the power of the Holy Spirit.
3. From restoration to the anointing
After Jesus was resurrected, he appeared to the seven disciples who were fishing again and restored them. They worked all night without catching anything.
First of all, they were physically hungry and spiritually lost. When the Lord allowed them to catch 153 fish, their spirits were lifted. And after they had eaten, they were also restord. So when Peter came ashore, Jesus asked him, "Do you love me? Do you love me more than these?" It means, Can you give up your fishing job for me?" Peter said, "You know I love you." The Lord asked three times and Peter answered three times. The Lord said, "Please feed my lambs." Peter was restored in his spirit, immediately put down his fishing net and returned to Jerusalem, waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
The real restoration is in the spirit. After Jesus ascended to heaven, Peter strengthened brothers and sisters, had them wait for the Holy Spirit, lead a pray, and then organized a meeting to elect an apostle to replace Judas Iscariot. These were all Peter's doings.
Jesus appeared to more than 500 disciples and asked them to wait in Jerusalem, but only 120 people finally waited and the Holy Spirit was poured out on them. Peter could make brothers and sisters wait when others could not.
Some people can experience the anointing of the Holy Spirit, but some people cannot. Why? It is because they do not really love God or wait for God. They still live in their weakness and their own thoughts. But those who obey God and wait for Him will experience the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, the pastor said: "Despite our pride, or our unwillingness to love the Lord because we are weak and lost, God can restore us. After that, we need to respond to God, live and serve out of love for God. Then you can experience the power of the Holy Spirit, and receive more than you need."
- Translated by Abigail Wu