Have you ever tried to be an undercover Christian? That is what happened to Peter. He was trying to blend into the woodwork. He had been following Jesus at a distance and became cold, so he was attracted to the warmth of the enemy's fire.
At this point, Peter was worn down, defeated, weak, and vulnerable. Why was he even in the high priest's courtyard? According to Matthew 26:58, "he went in and sat with the servants to see the end." Peter had forgotten all that Jesus had said about His resurrection from the dead. Now he was just waiting for the end--the end of Jesus' life . . . the end of his dream . . . the end of everything he held dear. But it was not the end. It would be a new beginning.
Here was Peter's problem: he was in the wrong place with the wrong people, about to do the wrong thing. And when that passion in our heart begins to die, the fire we had for Christ will grow cold, and we will look elsewhere for warmth.
The Bible tells us,
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3)
When you hang out with the wrong people at the wrong place at the wrong time, then it is only a matter of time until you do the wrong thing.
Summary sentence: Following Christ at a distance can cause you to be attracted to the enemy's campfire.
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