The Kingdom is based on relationships, first and foremost, my relationship with Jesus. Then my relationship with others. So many people have been burned in relationships and many of them are burned by people who said that they would be there for them but when it really came to the time of dire need, the relationship wasn’t there. The depth of relationship is not tested during the fun times, when things are going well. The depth and strength of relationships are tested when seemly the wheels are coming off. When the flight pattern has changed from climbing and maintaining altitude to unplanned and uncontrolled decent. When the vision is failing and the fair weathered ones are taking cover from the storm and looking for a sunny climate more suitable to their mindset.
Jesus had just finished telling His disciples that this night, all of them would desert Him. Peter being the boldest responds as recorded in Matt 26:33-35 Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” 35 “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same. NLT
44 verses later, after Peter is confronted the third time of being one of Jesus’ disciples, his response is found in verse 74. Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed. NLT
Peter had the best intentions. He said the right things in the emotion of the moment. His heart said, I would never leave you! I am here for you man! I am committed to you! But when the reality of what that meant suddenly materialized, it was a different feeling. There was no one else there to impress. No one else’s eyes that he would look good in. The true price of his statement was now being cashed in and Peter’s verbal check bounced. There is a risk in the words I just mentioned ( I am here for you) and I guarantee that those words will be cashed in at some point in time. I am not saying we should not make that kind of commitment. I think we should and I think it is imperative that ever leader knows who is committed to them at that level. Who can they count on when the chips are down? I also think it is important for you to know who is standing with you. But also, who are you standing with? And when the test comes, who are you willing to stand firm for. Go ahead, write the check. But when that check is cashed make sure there is gold in the reserve to make it good! After all, acting out our commitment is always more powerful than just speaking it.