“Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. Matthew 26:52a (NLT)
“Put Away Your Sword, Patricia!”
Those were the exact words I heard at 5:30 in the morning.
I was lying in bed, talking to the Father. Like the impertinent friend of Luke 11, I was bringing my heart’s desire before the Throne again, together with a list of perfectly reasonable explanations as to why God should make it happen. NOW.
As I lay there, shocked and half asleep, the meaning of the reprimand became clear.
Just as Peter in his hastiness (and love for the Savior) tried to take matters into his own hands and stop Jesus’ persecutors, I once again picked up my sword and engaged into battle – uninvited.
A type-A personality like the apostle, I understand him too well.
You see, when I sifted my heart’s desire through the grid of God’s glory and my good, it fit beautifully. Just as it seemed so timely and honorable for Peter to defend His Master from those Romans, it seemed fitting to me to ask God to fulfill this dream. After all, He was the One who placed it in my heart to begin with!
The problem with my attitude is that I often forget that God designed the Master Plan and only chose to reveal it to me one step at a time. But because He has given me enough vision to set my heart on fire, I have a hard time standing still.
Waiting is certainly not this girl’s forte. My tendency is to somehow put my hands in the dough and “help” God accomplish His plan for my life. But we must remember not to be too hard on characters such as Peter and I, though – God certainly uses passionate, go-getters like us to accomplish His plan.
As a matter of fact, I don’t think for a minute that Jesus was blaming Peter for drawing the sword – but for doing so at the wrong time.
The time had come for Jesus to suffer and die. The sword of the Lord was drawn against Him – Zechariah 13:7. Peter’s heart – the Lord knew – as scared as it later became, was filled with passion for his Savior in Gethsemane. Jesus saw beyond Peter’s untimely zeal and mercifully reminded him of His sovereignty:
“Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly?” Matt 26:53
Yes! We need to be reminded that God doesn’t need us to accomplish His purposes. Indeed, picking up the sword at the wrong time and uninvited may be a revelation of a faith flaw: thinking that unless we do something, His plan will not be accomplished.
As worthy as Peter’s willingness to defend the Savior was, his impulse went against God’s will to fulfill His prophetic redemptive plan for mankind. Jesus was born into this world to die for our sins and He knew His time had come. Nothing would stop Him from accomplishing His Father’s will.
I wonder how many times we miss God’s best, stepping ahead of Him, simply because we do not understand the full scope of His plan?
We sometimes pray for something for a long, long time – a dream or need. Then one day we wake up, deciding that we have prayed and waited long enough. That’s when we pick up the sword and engage in battle, often just before God comes through with the answer to our prayers.
My Limited Point of View
Thinking of the scene in Gethsemane makes me realize how much my hastiness could cost: Ultimately, the fulfillment of God’s perfect plan for my life.
Nothing would have pleased Satan more than to have stopped Jesus from going to that dreadful cross. Likewise, the enemy leaps for joy when you and I step ahead of God and miss out on His best for us.
Put. Down. Your. Sword.
Jesus’ words to Peter served as a timeless reminder that, in order to receive God’s perfect plan, I must remain surrendered to His perfect timing.
It reminds me that, had Peter seen past the cross, he would not have ever drawn his sword.
It reminds me that, if only I could see what God has in store for me, right past the Valley of Wait, I would certainly take my hands off the dough and be still. E.v.e.r.y. T.i.m.e.
What about you? Is it time to put away your sword?
Are you tempted to believe you have waited enough?
Are you about to take matters into your own hands?
If so, before you move forward, meddling with God’s plan, messing up the story He wrote for you, hear the Master’s tender voice, as it shouts from the other side of Calvary:
There is everlasting life beyond that cross, Child.
From where I see it, the victory is certain and the end is beautiful.
Will you put down your sword and trust Me?