Beware of Overconfidence

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

“I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:29-30). Jesus’ followers had to be ecstatic at hearing this. Their future was totally secure and the Lord himself said they were headed for heaven to rule and reign with him throughout eternity.

Jesus then spoke directly to the apostle Peter: “‘Simon, listen to me! Satan has demanded the right to test each one of you, as a farmer does when he separates wheat from the husks. But, Simon, I have prayed that your faith will be strong. And when you have come back to me, help the others.’  Peter said, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to jail and even to die with you.’  Jesus replied, ‘Peter, I tell you that before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don’t know me’” (Luke 22:31-34, [CEV] Contemporary English Version).

Overconfident, Peter had no idea what he was about to face. Later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, at Jesus’ arrest, he impetuously cut off the right ear of the high priest’s servant (see John 18:10). This act of bravado typified much of Peter’s approach to life. And before the night was over he had fulfilled Jesus’ words that he would deny three times that he even knew him. And “Peter went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62).

From ecstasy to desolation within the span of a few hours because of overconfidence and self-reliance! Many Christians are allowed to come to a place of near-falling so that the Lord can lift them and set them on firmer ground. Jesus had told Peter, “You’re going to deny me, but you’re going to be restored. Afterward, you’re going to be blessed by what you’ve learned and you’ll have something vital to give to others.”

God loves you unconditionally and has an eternal purpose for you. Even though you may go through times of failure, Satan cannot rob you of Christ’s love. “We do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).