Rev. Bill Blomquist
"... not conforming yourself to the former lusts, as in your ignorance..." 1 Peter 1:14
Once I found a bike horn without batteries. It was all rusted out, but it had a positive wire sticking out on one end and a negative wire on the other. On impulse, I thought, "Gee whiz, there are two inserts in the electric wall socket in the bathroom. I'm going to plug these two wires in those two slots to see if the horn honks."
Today I am certain that if I hadn't been wearing rubber flip-flops, I would have been thrown half-way across the bathroom by the electric jolt that I barely sensed in my fingers. (The rusted horn did beep for a millisecond, though it sounded like a heifer in labor than a harsh buzzer.)
Isn't it reassuring that, in spite of all the goofy things we fell into, or initiated, stemming from our "former lusts", God was actually using those things to bring us up to where we are today?
Peter (the person who wrote the verse above - the person exhorting us to move away from the former impulses and into anchorage in holiness) certainly had his share of former lusts. We was a real thorn in Jesus' side. Yet at every juncture, Jesus used Peter's every doubt, rebuke, disappointment, and betrayal as a transformative event which, in God's mysterious ways, actually served to form him into the man of His dreams, into the man he spotted in Peter when he called him into his service on the beach that day.
So take heart. Yes, you have done stupid things. Some sinful. Some out of ignorant fervor and holy lust. But none of those things can out shadow God's grace, nor his agenda for your transformation in him.
I remember listening to David Pytches, a Bishop in the Anglican church, speaking about the power of the Holy Spirit and the phenomena of what happens when a person falls down under the weight of glory during ministry times. He didn't doubt the fact that people did "go down" in the Spirit - indeed he actually understood it as a genuine outcome of ministry - but he did caution us with regard to the hype around the event. "I don't care if they go down, how they go down, or how long they go down. It's how they get up that's important."
Thank you Jesus that my silliness, my sin, and even my intentional rebellion lie within the shadow of the transformative power of the Cross. May I be quick to rise from folly - my doubt and flat out questioning of your will - and be yoked with you, embracing the transformation you desire, rooted in all holiness, anchored in the Holy One. In your gracious Name I pray. Amen.