It is said that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The simple truth is that we have all had great ambitions and the very best intentions, only to fail miserably. So what is wrong with us, that we can be focused and determined and finish up completely derailed? A quick look at Peter denying Jesus helps understand this.
On the night before the Crucifixion, Peter had the very best of intentions. His commitment to Jesus was beyond question. He was indeed willing to die for Jesus, yet in a moment of questioning by a humble maid, he collapsed and failed his self-expectation.
At the Last Supper, Peter told Jesus that He was willing to die for Jesus. When Judas came with an army to arrest Jesus, Peter stood defiantly in the gap with his sword drawn. Before Jesus could stop him Peter stepped forward striking a man severing his ear. Had a battle ensued, Peter would most likely have perished while protecting his Lord.
Peter followed the troops to observe what was happening. Perhaps he was plotting a rescue attempt. We may never know. As he stood in the courtyard of the house where they had taken Jesus, people began questioning him. His speech was the giveaway. He spoke with a Galilean accent. The spectators began questioning him, twice he denies knowing Jesus, then a girl recognizes him. “I saw you with Jesus.” For the third time, he denies knowing Jesus. At that moment a rooster crows, and Peter realizes the prediction of Jesus is fulfilled. “Before the rooster crows you will deny knowing me three times.”
I think Peter was incredibly brave. Most of the other disciples were nowhere to be seen. But he was there, most likely seeking an opportunity to save Jesus. Not wanting to reveal himself he feigns not knowing Jesus. Had the rooster not crowed, had Jesus not predicted this moment, perhaps he would have stayed. Perhaps Peter may have intervened and saved Jesus, most likely he would have died trying.
But God had other plans for Peter. He also had plans for the Cross that the Disciples could not at that time comprehend. I believe that Jesus foiled Peter’s attempt to stay hidden and caused him to flee because He had much better things for Peter to do. In seven and a half weeks, Peter would stand before thousands of people preaching this World’s very first Gospel sermon. For the next thirty years, Peter would lead and shepherd the Early Church, as it transformed from being a group of men hiding in a locked room, into a vibrant network of believers across many nations.
We do not need good intentions! We need obedience to the will of God. When we are doing what our God gave us to do, we are invincible, because God is at work with us. When we are doing the will of God, our God will strengthen and equip us for that task.