“Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, ‘You also are not one of his disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’ One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with him?’ Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed”
The Bible does not gloss over the failures of its characters, even eminent saints. We read about David, Peter, and other people of God who at one point failed in a conspicuous way. At a weak moment, Peter denied even knowing Jesus. He cursed and swore and then fled. We should note that all of the disciples said they would never deny Him and all ultimately fled (see Mark 14:27-31, 50).
Later, on the Sea of Tiberias, Jesus met with the disciples and restored Peter. He commissioned him to feed His sheep. Of course, Peter learned through his failure, and also discovered more of the grace of God towards him.
Can God use us after a fall? Of course He can, but we must be willing to learn from our mistakes and accept whatever consequences they might bring. Nevertheless, it would be hard to find a person God used more than Peter. God not only restored him, but enabled him to preach the gospel in many places, write a couple of Bible books, and leave a remarkable spiritual legacy.
How can I serve God after a fall?
1. Admit and confess your sin.
We cannot grow spiritually unless we close accounts with God. If we have sinned, we should confess it to God. He will cleanse it and restore us to good favor with Him (see 1 John 1:7-10). In our confession, we should not gloss over the sin or minimize it.
2. Take on the armor of God.
What were the causes of the fall and how did it happen? For one thing, we need to always prepare ourselves for spiritual battle, and take on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18). When we fail to take on this armor, we open ourselves up to attack.
3. Get immediately back on track in serving God.
If Satan’s goal in attacking you was to minimize your usefulness, then the answer is right before you. Start serving God again. God uses imperfect people to proclaim a perfect gospel. He can and will use you, even after you failed Him. We all fail Him in some respect, yet He is pleased to use us again and again. Praise be to God for His unspeakable gift of mercy!
Posted on Tue, March 28, 2017
by Sam Petitfils