Before the Holy Spirit came, Peter lacked self-control. Impulsive and driven by emotion, he had a tendency to speak out of turn and make rash decisions, not exactly the kind of guy you would choose for a trench mate in battle. Nonetheless, qualified only by his profession of faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel upon which Jesus would build His Church, Peter was chosen to lead in spite of his obvious shortcomings.
During his initial spiritual training, preparation, and growth, Peter did not have the Holy Spirit inside to help him discern and understand all Jesus said and did, but he still soaked up all he could, watching, listening, and asking questions at every turn. When the Holy Spirit did come into Peter’s life after Jesus’ ascension as a result of Peter’s earlier profession of faith, He almost instantaneously changed Peter from the inside out and transformed him into the calm, confident, controlled, and wise leader he was designed to be.
Peter started strong. Supernaturally equipped and empowered and informed by Jesus’ training, Peter led the charge into uncharted territory, flanked on either side by the newly formed Church.
Peter stayed strong. Relying on the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance as God continually pushed him beyond what was familiar and comfortable, Peter obeyed Jesus and made disciples. Like anyone else, he made mistakes, but did not let those mistakes stop him. Instead, he kept his mind focused on obedience and allowed the Holy Spirit to keep changing him into the image of Jesus Christ, a process that would not be complete until he was reunited with Jesus Himself.
Peter finished strong. When others turned back, Peter marched on. In the end, what Jesus had predicted came true. Peter was martyred, but because he had stood firm in his faith, he was awarded the eternal life Jesus promised. In every stage of his ministry, from beginning to end, Peter was an example worth following.
What about you? Have you put your faith in Jesus Christ for salvation and allowed the Holy Spirit to change you into something brand new? Are you continuing to let the Holy Spirit transform you into the image of Jesus Christ? Are you taking advantage of opportunities to learn and grow spiritually? Are you making disciples as you go?