Peter turned around and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them â€” the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, â€œLord, who among us will betray you?â€ Â Peter asked Jesus, â€œWhat about him, Lord?â€Â Jesus replied, â€œIf I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You follow me.â€Â Â â€”John 21:20-22
Godâ€™s plan is personally designed for each of us.Â Although we all travel lifeâ€™s journey according to the roadmap God has personally planned for each of us,Â ourÂ experiences will be different; for some the road may seem easy and for others it may be rough andÂ less traveled.Â Â Â Yet, there isÂ a natural tendency to want to know Godâ€™s plan for others in your inner circle and theÂ road to destiny theyÂ must travel. Many even go as far as to speculate, evaluate, and assess someone elseâ€™sÂ qualifications and anointing to carry outÂ their Kingdom assignment. For example, you can probably relate to Peterâ€™s concern in the above scripture. Imagine the scene.Â Itâ€™sÂ time for Peterâ€™s restoration due toÂ his denial ofÂ being in relationship with Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75).Â During the process of restoration Jesus quizzes Peter about his love for Him and gives him specific instructions, â€œFeed my sheep.â€
After being asked the third time, Peter obviously grieved and disturbed by Jesusâ€™ persistenceÂ and responds emphatically by noting Jesusâ€™ omniscience.Â (The third time signified his restoration, whichÂ eradicatedÂ his three-time denial of Jesus).Â Â Jesus continued by revealing to Peter his death, and how he wouldÂ die as a martyr for the glory of God.Â Really! Â You can imagine that was not the most exciting news to receive afterÂ being affirmed and restored for ministry!Â Â Â However, it should remind us that Kingdom assignment is not always THAT glamorousâ€”there is a cost!Â More important, it reminds us of Godâ€™s grace whenÂ weÂ fail in our faithfulness to Him.Â He is a God of restoration.
After receiving â€œin partâ€ his revealed destiny,Â and Godâ€™s will for him, naturally, Peter wanted to know if he was going to be the only one to encounter such unpleasantness, to say the least. Â Since the beloved disciple was nearby, Peter asked, â€œWhat about him?â€Â In other words, what is your plan for John? Whatâ€™s going to happen to him? How is he going to die? Â Â It was no secret that John was referred to the â€œbelovedâ€ disciple.Â We had a name for it back in the day: â€œTeacherâ€™s pet.â€
Beloved, this is the perfect example of childish and immature behavior when it comes to Kingdom assignment and Godâ€™s agenda. Â Jesusâ€™ perfects everything that concerns us individually while orchestrating life events to bring His plan and purposes to pass.Â He wants us to focus on our own personal relationship and obedience to Him. Basically, (paraphrased) Jesus was saying to Peter,Â this is not about John. This is about my will for you. My will for John is none of your business. YOU follow me. Iâ€™ve given you your assignment and revealed my plan for you. Â So donâ€™t worry about him. What I have and want for John is between himÂ and Me. Â You just stay focus on what Iâ€™ve assigned to you, and follow my plan for you, Peter. (Italic is my paraphrase). Wow! Talk about a slap on the wrist (rebuke).
In todayâ€™s Christian cultureÂ some church leaders would have been highly offended if the senior elder (pastor, bishop)Â had rebuked them like that.Â Many would have gotten so upset that they would have moved their membership. Â Ha! You know itâ€™s the truth!
Although itâ€™s the natural human instinct to be inquisitive about Godâ€™s plan and purpose for others, itâ€™s not what God wants.Â We are too easily distracted from our personal relationship with God, or what He has destined for our life when we focus on His will and plan for others within our circle.
Knowing the details of Godâ€™s plan or will for others stimulates the fleshy appetite for covetousness, jealousy, envy and even strife.Â We should never compare personal ministry gifts or assignments to others. Looking at others and questioning Godâ€™s will and plan for their lives distracts us from what God has destined for us individually. Youâ€™ve heard the clichÃ©, â€œIt enough work for everybody.â€Â The truth is we should all be about Godâ€™s businessâ€” working together to advance His Kingdom, all for the glory of God.Â There is a song, â€œWhat God has for me is for me.â€Â This is true, but do we really believe it?
Perhaps Peterâ€™s curiosity about John wasÂ out of genuine love and concern since Jesus assigned him leadership responsibility for the church.Â Yet, leadership responsibility does not justify questioningÂ Godâ€™s will and plan for someone else in comparison to yours.Â Â Think about Jesusâ€™ reply to Peter, â€œIf I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?â€Â YOU follow me.â€Â
This lessons teaches that itâ€™s about your personal relationship with the Lord.Â Â Your primaryÂ focus should beÂ doing His willâ€¦carrying out your assignment, and fulfilling your purpose and destiny regardless of what it is, or how painful it may be.Â And the good news is that He will never leave you nor forsake you.Â However, youÂ must trust Him; follow His lead, and obey His commands.
Consequently, Peter carried out his assignment.Â HeÂ preached with power and authority; heÂ wroteÂ with inspired conviction about suffering for the glory of God. Itâ€™s obvious in his epistles ( 1 & 2 Peter) that he accepted Godâ€™s plan and will for his life.Â Also,Â John carried out his assignment (Gospel of John, the epistles: 1, 2 & 3 John, and Book of Revelation), being the â€œbelovedâ€ disciple qualified him to convey the message of love.Â As a matter of fact,Â the other disciples, even Judas Iscariot carried out their mission.Â And now, we can all benefit and learn from them through the inspired Word of God.
Although it is a natural tendency to be concerned about Godâ€™s plan for someone elseâ€™s, I encourage you to stay focused on what God has planned for you.Â Â Â It is my prayer that Godâ€™s plan for YOUR life is revealed, and that YOU complete YOUR personal assignment in the Kingdom to the glory ofÂ God alone.
(c)2010. Originally posted, â€œNot your businessâ€
Revised post (c) 2013. All rights reserved.