Article by Pastor Scott Stevens,
US Army and Disabled Veteran
JESUS asked. “Who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15
Certain decisions in life are made for us, while others we have to personally make on our own which have life-long consequences. Where you were born, who you were born from and the area or country you were born in were chosen for you. Yet, your career, who you marry (for the most part), and who you choose to serve and call God is a personal and individual decision.
As you read in the above scripture Jesus is asking his disciples and followers a question, and prior to asking this question, He had spent many years with his disciples and followers and they have seen Him perform many miracles. They had left everything to follow Him, yet now Jesus is challenging them with this question “Who do you say that I am?”
Let us look back in a few scriptures before this to see Jesus setting up his disciples wherein He had asked an easier question in Verse 13 “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
Peter, being the vocal leader of the group responds in Verse 14, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
Then Jesus asks the more difficult question in Verse 15 NIV “But what about you?”, he asked, “Who do you say I am?”
To have Him and now them decide and commit with their mouth “Who am I to You?” Peter then goes on to say in Verse 16 , “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Peter had answered correctly, YOU (Jesus) are the Messiah, the anointed One, the one who will save us.
Many times in life we do not have to make decisions and we just have to go through life, yet when you hang around God long enough, He will ultimately ask you to commit and say to your spirit “Who do you say that I am?” He will ask us for a personal decision that you must answer. He may ask you for MORE, or just as He has said to so many of us “Am I just your friend?” Are you going to treat Jesus like a neighbor or co-worker, a person that you see every now and then, but there is no personal time or commitment? Or are you going to say, You are the Messiah, the Lord of my life and I want Not my will, but thy will be done.
There have been times in my own thirty years of marriage that I have been busy with ministry, helping others, or even at times selfishly focusing on things that please me rather than committed to my marriage and my family. There have been occasions when my beautiful wife has said to me “Hey Scott, remember me? I am your wife and I need you to commit to this relationship and our family more than the needs of others or you selfish desires.” I had a choice, I could continue to do my will and meet the needs of others and my own desires or I could repent and humble myself to her request for me to Love her and our family. I am so glad I have a loving and patient wife who is willing to work with me and see my heart and prays for me to lead with integrity, humility and passion. And I am also glad to have a God who is willing to challenge me, when my priorities are out of place.
God never wants to be second or third in your life, that is why the scriptures say in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.” He doesn’t want to just be your friend or someone you go to occasionally with your request, stresses and problems. He created you, loves you, died for you and has a glorious plan for your life. It is your choice to choose God or something else. Anytime you put your job, your activities, your relationships or your personal plans before God, He will always ask you the hard question “Who do you say that I am?” Or to paraphrase “where am I at in your life?”
Sometimes, it is sin that separates us from the relationship with God. In the Bible when Adam had disobeyed, followed his wife into sin by eating the forbidden fruit, he tried to hide and cover his sin from God. When God came to spend time with Adam in the Garden of Eden, God asked a similar question that He asked of Peter, in Genesis 3:9 “But the LORD God called out to the man [Adam], “Where are you? Adam had separated himself from God and now God was coming to tell him you are not where you belong . Just as Peter had to commit an answer to the question “Who do you say that I am?”
Let me ask you now to search within your heart and within your life and ask yourself “Where is God in my life?” and “Who do I say that God is in my life?”
I want you to choose wisely, because this decision will affect the next years of your life. If you want to make a personal commitment to God, it looks something like this, “God I realize that I do not have You in the place in my life that has you in the center, I am sorry for separating myself from you with my sins and I need your forgiveness and salvation. I believe in you, I accept your sacrifice of dying on the cross for me and want to live my life according to your direction and not mine. Help me find a good Church who believes and teaches your word. Lead me to a small group that can help me grow, and help me find a mentor, In Jesus name I pray, Amen”.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about God, feel free to reach out to me via email at PastorStevens@aol.com. And thank you for choosing wisely and following God.
Read more articles from VOM Magazine here: https://www.veteransoutreachministries.org/vom-magazine/