January 14, 2018
Following Afar Off
But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. – Matthew 26:58
As a child growing up in Africa, I enjoyed going with my father when he would hunt for game in the jungle. He was fond of telling me stories about wild animals as we traveled along. I enjoyed the serenity of the jungle and the melodious singing of the birds. What a confidence and sense of safety I felt walking along with my father. I always followed closely behind him, ensuring that I was on the right track. In my imagination, I would think of the time when I would master the road and walk the jungle by myself.
One day, as we headed for the jungle, I decided to follow him afar off. It was not long before I realized my folly. I came to a crossroads, and did not know which way to turn. I was lost, and it took my father two hours to locate me. That was quite a lesson for me about the importance of staying close to my father.
When we step out to follow the Lord, how blessed we are when we follow Him closely! The account of Peter that today’s focus verse comes from illustrates this point. When Peter followed the Lord closely, he made a success of his journey. Even when he stepped on the sea at the Master’s command, as long as he focused his attention on Jesus, he did great. Yet, a time came when he failed to heed the Master’s warning. The Bible tells us that he was following afar off, and we all know the result. He fell prey to the enemy’s trick, by denying Jesus.
How often Satan makes us think that we can rely on our own strength as we walk with the Lord. The weapon of the enemy is to preoccupy us with our daily activities at the expense of the Word of God and prayer, which creates distance between us and our Lord. Many times, he tries to make us feel that we have mastered the road. We pride ourselves in our past experiences and in yesterday’s successes, and the distance begins to feel comfortable. We must not fail to realize that our adversary is more experienced than we are. The Bible tells us that he is like a roaring lion, looking for whom he may devour. We need a purpose in our hearts to stay close to the Lord in order to avoid the enemy.
If you have failed in your service to the Lord in the past, it might have happened because you were following Him afar off. Check your relationship with Him and be sensitive to the bidding of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Master of the road, and if we are to make a success of our spiritual journey, we must follow Him closely.