Swagger. It’s that confident, aggressive, independent certainty that you’ve got it covered. Muhammad Ali had it and became the greatest boxer of all time. Louisville, Ali’s hometown, paid tribute to him last year as the Cardinals took on Florida State. With Ali’s butterfly on their helmets they destroyed the Seminoles.
Even Donald Trump’s walk exudes swagger and his campaign rode his “It will be great” all the way to the White House. Swagger works in the boxing ring, on the football field, and sometimes on the campaign trail, but what’s its effectiveness when I face the greatest challenger of all?
The Apostle Peter had swagger at the Last Supper. In Gethsemane he fell asleep, instead of praying. How did the Galilean fisherman do when a servant girl recognized him by the firelight in the courtyard at Jesus’ trial?
“And Peter followed at a distance. When they kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down, Peter sat down with them. Now when a servant girl saw him sitting before the light, she carefully looked him over and said, ‘This one also was with him!’ But he denied it, ‘Woman, I don’t know him!’
A short time later, another seeing him said, ‘You also are one of them!’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I am not!’ About an hour later another firmly insisted, ‘I’m sure. This one also was with him; for he’s a Galilean!’ But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’
And immediately, while he was still speaking, he heard the cock crow. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter and Peter remembered the Lord’s word that before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times. And he went outside and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:54-62
In the text Luke leaves Peter outside weeping. Will he only have remorse like Judas and take his life, still in the grips of Satan? Jesus not only predicted Peter’s denial, but He also stressed that He had prayed for Peter. When Peter returned, he would again strengthen his brothers and sisters in Christ.
LORD, thanks that the book of Hebrews promises that You are interceding for me. Protect me from putting my trust this week in my swagger. Instead, move me to dependence and prayer.
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