There are many stories and letters throughout the New Testament about Peter as a disciple of Jesus the Messiah, an apostle of the early church and flawed, sinful person, just like everyone else; yet, out of all His many followers, Jesus said of Peter: “…Upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,” (Matthew 16:13-19) Jesus’ words were an incredibly deliberate and profound statement not about Peter as a person, but about what the body of Christ would look like because of Peter.
Peter was a real man, with a background and a family and a story and struggles and triumphs like any one of us, but there is something very important that he would also want you to know about him: Peter was a worshipper.
Jesus Knew Much Could be Built “Upon This Rock”
God isn’t looking for a perfect person- He is looking for person who will praise Him. Everything else in life will flow out of your submission to the Lord, and your connection to His Spirit- and those two crucial aspects of faith are found inside of His presence. Peter was far from perfect. He had a mother-in-law and a wife, which means he had plenty of opportunities to put his flesh down! Peter grew tired when he was trying to pray. (Mark 14:37-38) Peter struggled with his humanity. (Luke 22:61-62) He was strong-willed. (Mark 16:18) Peter was fiercely loyal. (Matthew 26:35) Peter was passionate. (John 18:10) Peter was willing to take risks in his faith. (Matthew 14:28-29) But his close connection to the Lord only grew stronger to the point that Jesus knew “upon this rock” an eternal church would have its foundations.
Peter still had yet to walk through the beatings, the imprisonments, the rejection, the pressing on, the trials and pain, the loneliness living apart from his family, the pressures of ministry, but Jesus knew the church would be secure “upon this rock”. And Peter’s victories marked out the path to victory for every disciple of Jesus Christ in the Kingdom for the rest of history going forward. What set him apart? WORSHIP.
Worship was part of every, single experience Peter had in his journey of faith. There is no way any man could walk through Peter’s experiences as an apostle of Christ without a lifestyle of worship. “To those who are elect exiles…” Peter wrote. “…greatly rejoice, even though now, if for a little while, you have had to suffer various trials, in order that the genuineness of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tried by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:6-7) Only a worshipper writes a note like that!
Only a worshipper who has walked through the worst of the worst and has used worship as a weapon, closing into the presence of God, to minister to Him and saw that testimony of victory through to the other side has the spiritual chops to encourage those in exile to WORSHIP. There’s is no way you could advise someone to worship (of all things!) in the worst, darkest, most painful seasons of their lives unless you had done the same yourself and had seen God do miracles as a result.
Peter’s example of power and praise would ultimately set the precedents and principles for the operations, the authorities, the spiritual composition and the movements of the church that Jesus knew would form following His death and resurrection. But remember this: God would not have chosen Peter for such a monumental honor if He had not walked with Peter in close relationship Himself. It is the exact same principle for you today. Worship is what draws you into the secret place, where you get to know the Lord, and you open yourself to be known more by Him. That is how He knew He could building “upon this rock” and trust Peter to walk alongside others through the hardships of faith. He’d seen for Himself who Peter really was because He had spent so much time with him.
Thought for today: Jesus Can Build Upon Your Faith too
When life is hard- WORSHIP. When life is easy- WORSHIP. That is the firm foundation of an unshakeable faith. The circumstances don’t really matter – Why? Because you love Jesus, Peter wrote. That’s it! Not because you feel like it. Not because things are good. Not because you’re in a season of peace or joy or prosperity. As Peter was fully aware, worship an action of faith, not a feeling, because, “though you do not see Him now, you believe and you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, receiving as the result of your faith the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9) Peter was a real person and he had his struggles, but “upon this rock” Jesus said He would build the spiritual heritage we walk in today- and the worship of Jesus Christ, the cornerstone, was where Peter started building.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may declare the goodness of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Praise is your high calling. Worship is your lifeline, whether or not you use it. Worship wins wars in you, through you and around you. How? Worship is ministry to the Lord, not ministry to you, and as you enter His gates with thanksgiving (Psalm 100:4) and minister to Him, He is faithful to minister back to you (Genesis 22:17) and your position in His presence changes you, inspires you, strengthens you, empowers you and makes a way. (Psalm 50:23)
Resources to Help You Become Strong as a Rock in Your Faith!
- “Three Ways that Jesus Christ is the Rock that Cannot be Moved”
- “Find Rivers of Living of Water in Your Season of Drought”
- “When the Enemy Comes in Like a Flood, Walk on Dry Ground”
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Way of the Worshipper on Amazon – and AVAILABLE NOW you can also purchase The Way of the Worshipper: A Devotional Workbook for deeper study, personal examination and spiritual growth!