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Why Didn’t God Stop Peter from Sinning?
“Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice” (Mat. 26:34).
Some people believe that if God doesn’t want us to sin then He can stop us. After all, He already knows what we’re going to do anyway. Satan so often feeds us “half-truths.” Satan neglects to tell us that God usually does not override our free will and does not usually intervene apart from our asking.
Peter swore that he was ready to die with Jesus even if the rest of the disciples denied Him. Yet, Jesus knew exactly what Peter was going to do. However, Jesus also knew that the future can be changed through the praying of His people. Jesus makes an attempt to teach this to Peter:
And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Mat. 26:40, 41)
Peter did not have to deny His Lord. Had he prayed as the Lord instructed him he would not have entered into temptation but would have been strengthened by God. Prayer can change future events because the God of the future answers prayer. Therefore, Peter’s problem was his self-assurance. We have all failed in this regard.
The person who truly wants God to “stop him or her” will follow Scripture’s teaching to go boldly to the throne of grace and get the help we need to overcome temptation (Heb. 4:15, 16). Unfortunately, when we have been hypnotized by Satan’s enticement then we will not want God to really intervene but use His lack of intervention as our excuse to yield to the temptation.God will not force His way and His will upon us (Matt. 23:37; Luke 7:30; Rev. 3:20; etc.) but will invite us to come to Him for help. If we want God to keep us from temptation then we must submit ourselves to Him and the Tempter will flee (James 4:7). Never let theological speculation about God’s omniscience keep us from appropriating His promises of victory through prayer.
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