Last week we discussed Peter, a man who struggled with failing God, but who was later restored, transformed, and empowered after the resurrection of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Peter grew in grace as he let go of his past, walked in his new identity, and embraced his calling.
After the resurrection of Jesus, Peter still had four issues occurring in his life as he transitioned to his future: 1) his New Identity 2) his Increased Favor 3) his New Relationships 4) New Acts.
Let’s take a look at these issues, and see how they affect you in your transitions.
After the Resurrection, Peter is no longer ‘Simon’ (which means ‘the waverer’) but ‘Peter’ (which means ‘the steadfast rock’). He has a new nature and a new identity. He is a changed man, evidenced by Acts 2, speaking in a new holy boldness:
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice …”
Peter isn’t the same person any longer, and as a result, many come to Christ. Peter was awakened to his true identity (a steadfast rock) which empowered him to step into his destiny. He pushed past his fear— and stepped into a new boldness.
So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” Rom 6:11 NLT
We have been raised with Christ into newness of life, living from His identity and His victory. When we are in Christ, God no longer reminds us of our old nature. It is time to wear your new identity!
and put on the new nature, which is renewed in knowledge by conforming to the image of the one who created it.” Col. 3:10 CEB
God’s grace empowers you to live your new identity with boldness. It is also discovered in community. Relationships help strengthen and define you. Some of who you are in God is discovered in community, and you have to embrace that.
Your transformed identity empowers you to overcome the mountains (obstacles) in your past season that has stopped your progress.
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, Says the LORD of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!’ Zech. 4:6-7
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized…3000 souls added to them…having favor with all the people…” Acts 2:41-47
Grace and favor are related. God grants favor for a purpose—the advancement of His kingdom. God elevates us that His grace might draw many to Him. As we advance in grace, we should embrace new levels of favor—don’t walk in a false humility.
Favor increases with intimacy, relationship and obedience to God. Favor opens doors; it will enable you to stand before those you may not have been qualified for in the natural. God is increasing His favor on His faithful ones, allowing them to radiate His grace and giving them new opportunities:
“look at the fields, they are already white for harvest.” John 4:35 While a great wave of harvest is coming, the harvest is NOW!
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:47
Can you imagine the church being in such unity that there is great favor with all the community? Start with humility and servanthood, and God will increase your favor.
“…all who believed were together…” Acts 2:44
When God begins to do a new thing in you, evaluate your relationships for new levels of connection happening. He aligns us with others who will cause us to come into a greater level of success in Christ and to fulfill our destiny. It’s not just you and your ministry. Remember, Peter was “Peter” because of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the community!
“All who believed were together” – A healthy church family is important as you transition into new seasons. Let go of relationships that don’t draw you closer to God. Sometimes, God will place us with some we don’t exactly hit it off with. He places the people in your life that He knows you will need. Sometimes you will be placed under leaders who are soft, loving, and kind. Sometimes you’ll be placed under a leader with “rough edges.”
No matter the personality type, God will get you where you need to go. Remember, all powers are ordained by God. Walk in humility, or you might miss what God wants to happen!
…many wonders and signs were done…” Acts 2:43
In the early church, the power of God was openly displayed by the apostles and believers. New acts were displayed, and fear came on souls as many wonders and signs happened. Peter operated in and expected the power of God.
Throughout church history, every time that God is about to do something new, new acts begin that demonstrate His power. His acts have never stopped. Expect the Lord to intervene in your life with signs, wonders, and miracles in each new season, and walk into it. God confirms His word with signs following. Do you believe in miracles? Are you praying for them? If we’re not going after them, how can we expect miracles to occur?
Also, don’t fear the supernatural; embrace what God is offering. Don’t be offended when God begins to move in new ways and with His power.
Jesus left that place and came to his hometown. His disciples followed him. On the Sabbath, he began to teach in the synagogue. Many who heard him were surprised. “Where did this man get all this? What’s this wisdom he’s been given? What about the powerful acts accomplished through him? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t he Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” They were repulsed by him and fell into sin. Jesus said to them, “Prophets are honored everywhere except in their own hometowns, among their relatives, and in their own households.” He was unable to do any miracles there, except that he placed his hands on a few sick people and healed them. He was appalled by their disbelief. Then Jesus traveled through the surrounding villages teaching.” Mark 6:1-6 CEB
Unbelief corporately affects kingdom of God. The more you go after miracles, the more miracles you will see. Expectancy will open your life to miracles, so put yourself in place of expectancy. Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit through unbelief.
Your Past Failures Don’t Define Your Identity and Destiny
Remember, your past failures don’t define your present identity and calling with God. Let go of the past—embrace the change! Wear your new identity.
Push past the fear of change and walk through the doorway of your future with confidence. Say like Paul in Phil. 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
Each prophetic promise brings some level of transition. You must be willing to embrace the new season while preserving the good from the old season. Allow new structures to form and embrace them. See like an owl—the owl can see in the midst of the darkness. Prophetic eyes are needed to see God’s glorious light in the world.
We are in a season of grace and favor, but it’s also a season of discipline. God is remolding and re-defining His bride, a warrior bride, to make her spotless! It’s a season of renewed power—the miraculous should be the norm. He’s making you pure and powerful! He’s giving you grace for the race set before you!
Ask God for a fresh anointing for this new season: cry out for it, go after it, and expect it!
For a more in-depth look at Part 2 of this series, be sure to watch the sermon from Passion Church: