“Today you are doing whatever you please, but that is not how it will be when you arrive in the place of rest the Lord your God is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 12:8-9).
Jesus words to Peter follow a similar tone in John 21:18-19. He says, “The truth is, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked and go wherever you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will direct you and take you where you don’t want to go. Jesus said this to let him know what kind of death he would die to glorify God.
Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.” If we take time to look back at our infancy in Christ, we clearly see a pattern of doing whatever we please. Sadly even now, when we should have grown in the Lord, we still find that we tend to do whatever we please. But, as a called people, we now live a life lead by Christ. If we are to arrive in the place of rest prepared for us by the Lord our God, we need to no longer live for ourselves. Instead, as Jesus said, we need to stretch out our hands and be directed by Him. Notice Jesus description starts with young and moves to old.
Although not directly said, the whole passage hinges on the fact that Peter has had Christ come into his life. The same can be said for Israel as one day Abram did not know God and then he did and became known as Abraham. Only after Christ has come into your life can any of this take place. With Christ, there is growth. Not once off growth, but a constant growth. Yes sometimes the growth is slow and sometimes it is fast, but it is always there. We are always moving from a place of being young to old. This is all part of Gods promise to His children. He is always building us up, teaching us and leading us in the right direction.
For what Father would not love and discipline his children and how can a child not expect harsher discipline if he/she refuses to learn or be lead in the right direction? Is it not true that as Gods people, as Christians, we long to bring honour and glory to Him that is all things? What a blessing for Peter to be told that he would die to glorify God. This growth from young to old serves one purpose; to bring us to a place where all we do is to Glorify God. So we should ‘look forward to all that God has planned for us’.
We should long to grow and be directed in our lives. Only through this growth can we no longer live to please ourselves. Don’t be so ashamed that you do not let Christ do His work. He can and will bring you to a place where those sins that used to control your life are no longer. He will grow us into men and women of God. Listen to Jesus words again, ‘Follow me’. For none of it is possible without Christ. I know you groan with anguish when you dishonour God. Let Christ bring us to a place of being continually lead, of following His Spirit. For we walk the path before us, trusting the one who leads. Though the roads darkness, we have the light to see. His call is ‘Follow me’.