Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice. John 13:37, 38.
Just before Peter’s fall, Christ said to him, “Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” Luke 22:31. How true was the Saviour’s friendship for Peter! how compassionate His warning! But the warning was resented. In self-sufficiency Peter declared confidently that he would never do what Christ had warned him against. “Lord,” he said, “I am ready to go with thee to prison, and to death.” His self-confidence proved his ruin. He tempted Satan to tempt him, and he fell under the arts of the wily foe. When Christ needed him most, he stood on the side of the enemy, and openly denied his Lord….
Many today stand where Peter stood when in self-confidence he declared that he would not deny his Lord. And because of their self-sufficiency, they fall an easy prey to Satan’s devices. Those who realize their weakness trust in a power higher than self. And while they look to God, Satan has no power against them. But those who trust in self are easily defeated. Let us remember that if we do not heed the cautions that God gives us, a fall is before us. Christ will not save from wounds the one who places himself unbidden on the enemy’s ground. He lets the self-sufficient one, who acts as if he knew more than his Lord, go on in his supposed strength. Then comes suffering and a crippled life or perhaps defeat and death.
In the warfare the enemy takes advantage of the weakest points in the defense of those he is attacking. Here he makes his fiercest assaults. The Christian should have no weak points in his defense. He should be barricaded by the support that the Scriptures give to the one who is doing God’s will. The tempted soul will bear away the victory if he follows the example of Him who met the tempter with the word, “It is written.” He can stand securely in the protection of a “Thus saith the Lord.” 58Manuscript 115, 1902.