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I Do It God's Way
by Jane Mullikin
I experienced great joy and great sorrow this morning as messages poured forth from my spirit. I missed the best plan God had created for me back when I was 15 and let my hormones overrule the constantly recurring message, "Stay Apart." Because I did not listen, I will never know the plan in place for me. He may not have meant stay separated from my peers and never marry as I envisioned in my teenage horror.

After suffering the consequences of that disobedience and of a second disobedience where �I Did It My Way�, a new plan brought me through the years of pain and confusion so that even someone as hardheaded as I can clearly visualize the good life that was always available to me.

This is not a simple set of arbitrary rules. It is THE way to the good life.

    1. Obeying God in small matters leads to great rewards in the future. To stay apart was a simple command, nothing difficult to understand there. In the Bible is the story of a fisherman named Peter. He and his crew had fished all night with no catch only to be confronted by Jesus wanting to go out in his boat, speak to the crowd on the shore and fish.

    If Peter had said, "We did not catch anything all night long, the nets are cleaned and I'm not going back out," he would have likely died a simple fisherman. Instead we can learn of his life centuries later; his history is permanently recorded.

    2. Obeying God is always beneficial to others. It was easier for crowd to hear Jesus from the boat and Peter gathered the fish as a reward. The crowd was blessed and Peter and his partners were blessed, as a small act of obedience.

    The act may have been small, but a crew weary after a night of hard physical labor, did not easily go back out into the water.

    3. Obeying God will often make us do things that appear to be irrational. Noah lived in the desert. There was no rain. God gives him an order to build an Ark. He had to live with the disrespect shown by his community up until the day they all drowned.

    Abraham was ordered to sacrifice his son but was spared at the moment it was clear he was willing to be obedient. Abraham, through his son, fathered the twelve tribes of Israel.

    God tells a sheepherder to take his stick and tell Pharaoh, �let my people go!� Moses used that same stick to part the waters of the Red Sea. Joshua under instruction from God used trumpets to bring down the walls of Jericho.

    We cannot make decisions based on human reasoning and expect them to be any better than our limited knowledge. To make the best decisions that will allow us to live the most fulfilling lives, we must seek God's counsel.

    This left me with a deep conviction that second-guessing any spiritual person�s wandering is to put myself in the position of attempting to control God's plan with my limited understanding.

    4. Obeying God never proves to be disappointing. He will give you more than you ask, more than you expect, more than you deserve.

    5. Obeying God allows him to demonstrate his awesome power in our lives. After Jesus had the opportunity to speak with the crowd on the shore, Peter was witness to or involved in so many miraculous occurrences, his life was one of high adventure�.Jesus filled the boat with fish, Jesus calmed the storm, He encouraged Peter to walk on water.

    6. Obeying God gives us a better understanding of him and of ourselves. We do not understand the word of God because we do not obey what we read.

    The more I understand him, the more obedient I want to be. Arguing with God closes the door to understanding and intimacy. We must have this intimacy to understand the word of God.

    7. Obeying God in small matters will result in dramatic changes in your life.

Nothing this world has to offer is worth missing God's best in your life. Peter�s life of adventure culminated in his martyrdom. God promises a special place in eternity for those who give their lives for Him. It is the ultimate victory.

Rules courtesy of Rev. Charles Stanley

Simon (Peter)

It is said that the apostle Peter was a slender person of a middle size inclining to tallness and that his complexion was pale, almost white. It is also said that he had a short thick curled beard and thin eyebrows, or, no eyebrows at all. Peter's eyes were black, but, flecked with red due to frequent weeping.

Born at Betsaida, in Galilee, to a fisherman by the name of Jona, Peter would eventually follow his father into this profession. He and his brother Andrew became partners with Zebedee and his sons James and John in a fishing business. All four, Peter, Andrew, James and John were to become disciples of Jesus, later to be appointed as apostles by Him. So firm was Peter's faith, that Jesus gave him the name of Cephas, meaning, in the Syriac language, a rock. Peter is the Greek translation of Cephas.

The house in which Peter lived in, in Capernaum, is still standing, however, in the 5th century AD, a Christian church was constructed over it.

It was Peter who preached to the masses in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost following the Lord's ascension to heaven and it is his message which is recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, the book of Acts, chapter 2. In fact, much is written about the apostle Peter in the first 12 chapters of the book of Acts in the New Testament.

Peter is, also, the one who prompted the disciples to choose a replacement to take over the apostolic ministry of Judas Iscariot (after his betrayal and death) and it was Peter who healed a man over 40 years of age who had been crippled from birth with but the words, "Silver and Gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

Peter was called by the apostle Paul a "pillar" of the church and it was believed by the crowds, that the mere casting of his shadow upon the sick, was capable of bringing about miraculous healing. Peter is, also, the one who defended the inclusion of the Gentiles in the Christian movement at the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem. His ministry was primarily to the Jews, as Paul's was to the Gentiles.

After being imprisoned several times in Jerusalem because of his faith, Peter left with his wife and possibly others. It is believed that he ministered in Babylon to the Jewish colonists there and it is, also, believed to be his location when he wrote his first epistle

1 Peter

Peter eventually went to Rome and while there, it is believed that Mark (the writer of the Gospel of Mark) served as his translator as he preached. It is, also, believed that as Peter told and retold his experiences with Jesus, Mark interpreted time and time again to Christian groups and by so doing, gave Mark an almost verbatim memory of Peter's recollections. After Peter's death, Mark, realizing the value of Peter's first hand account, recorded what he remembered so clearly in what we know as the Gospel of Mark. In this manner, Peter became the source of our earliest Gospel.

According to church tradition, the Roman Emperor Nero, publicly announcing himself the chief enemy of God, was led in his fury to slaughter the Apostles. Because of the persecution, Peter was crucified upside down while in Rome. Concerning the last hours of his life, it is said that when Peter saw his own wife led out to die, he rejoiced because of her summons and her return home, and called to her very encouragingly and comfortingly addressing her by name, and saying, "O thou, remember the Lord."

Of the final days of the apostle Peter in Rome, Jowett wrote that Peter was cast into a horrible prison called the Mamertine and for nine months, in absolute darkness, he endured monstrous torture manacled to a post. Mamertine (also known as Gemonium ) could be seen with the dungeon and pillar to which Peter was bound in chains. During Peter's entire incarceration, Peter was manacled in an upright position, chained to the column, unable to lay down to rest, yet ,his magnificent spirit remained undaunted. In spite of all the suffering Peter was subjected to, he converted his jailers, Processus, Martinianus, and forty-seven others.

Peter met his death at the hand of the Romans by crucifying him in an upside-down position in Nero's circus 67AD.

Source: The Search For The Twelve Apostles, William S. McBirnie, PH.D.
Story of Peter

Jane Mullikin

Spirit - Finding Hope in a World of Uncertainty