Following at a Distance
Distance from the Lord is at the heart of every fall.
For example, you can show me a marriage that is falling apart and cite all of the various reasons for it, but I will tell you exactly where it broke down. It broke down in the couple's communication. Something happened, and the friendship their marriage was built on and the companionship they once enjoyed isn't what it used to be. Then all of those other problems found their way into a fractured marriage.
The same can be said of our relationship with God. We get away from the Lord in closeness. We are no longer starting the day with Bible study and prayer. We are too busy doing other things, and then other problems develop. And we find ourselves following at a distance.
That is one of the steps Peter took toward his denial of the Lord. The Bible tells us that after Jesus was arrested, "Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest's courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end" (Matthew 26:58, emphasis added).
There are people like this in church. They are usually late to the service and the first ones to leave. They are usually sitting in the back row. They want to live in two worlds, so they are following at a distance. That is what happened to Peter.
I heard the story of a little boy who fell out of bed in the middle of the night. When his mom asked him what happened, he said, "Well, I think I stayed too close to the place where I got in."
And that is the same reason we fall away from the Lord. We stayed too close to the place where we got in.
Summary sentence: Do you have closeness or distance in your following of Jesus?
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