Inspiration Behind Peter's Love
Some years back, when the Holy Spirit gave me this revelation, it brought a drastic change about my concept of 'useful service for God'. And I believe it would be relevant to share this with all of you.
We all accept the fact that Peter was very enthusiastic in his service for the Lord. He always wanted to be on the forefront of service for the Lord. Through his actions, he was kind of loudly proclaiming to the Lord, "Look, how much I love You". The actions of Peter revealed a deep sincerity and appreciation in Peter about Who he was serving. Not only that, Peter got a revelation about who Jesus was.
But here I want to invite your attention to the dimension in which Peter was operating, a dimension which was totally unacceptable to the Lord. It is that very thing that God wanted to touch.
Please come with me to some passages in John's Gospel, which will reveal something to us.
John 20 (KJV)
 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
Friends, do you see something in the above passage?
Do you observe here, that Peter had already witnessed in body and flesh his resurrected Lord, before making a proclammation to his friends, "I go a fishing"? John 21: 14 also clearly tells that, the Lord had already appreared two times, before appearing a third time on the sea shore. This clearly reveals Peter made this announcement, after twice witnessing his resurrected Lord and Savior.
Astonishing...isn't it?? Peter, the first among Lord's disciples; Peter, who was the most expressive about his love and passion for the Lord...wasn't he the least expected to lead the other disciples on such a fishing venture, after witnessing the resurrection of the Person, he loved with his whole being (that's what he supposed)? It would have been more appreciable, had Thomas been the first person to moot the idea, "I go a fishing", or for that matter some of the other disciples, but for Peter we will all say....NEVER!!On the contrary, it was more imaginable to see Peter as the happiest of all the disciples. It would have been more imaginable about Peter leading others in following his resurrected Lord.
Such an impulse could hardly be imagined about Peter. Afterall what could be the reason? Why was Peter so downcast?
This is the place I would like to press your attention, because this spiritual truth will find an application in everyone who is a believer.
The reason is - the dimension of Peter's love and all his passionate efforts were something that came out of a natural man. The love that Jesus wanted to see in Peter was Agape love i.e. unconditional love, a devotion and service arising out of selfless love. But Peter's love for the Lord was something that had its origin in the human, the flesh i.e. Phileo - a love arising out of human delight and it was not of a higher spiritual plane or standard that Agape carried with itself.
Agape is perfected love. Some facts that prove that Peter was not moving in the plane of Agape was the fear, which he exhibited more than once. It was the fear of losing Jesus that made him rebuke Jesus once when the Lord said that He must suffer death on the cross. It was fear that made him cry aloud when walking on the sea, on seeing huge waves & definitely it was fear that made him deny Jesus three times.
1 John 4: 18 says, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." John is describing Agape in this verse.
Agape is love from above, from the very presence of God. Phileo is love that has its origin in human. And here is something which I want to stress. Peter wanted to serve the Lord with something that had its origin in the flesh. But Peter did not know that his human ability to love the Lord was grossly insufficient and inadequate to follow the supernatural way. It was grossly insufficient to make good his proclammation, "Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death." (Luke 22: 33). He realised this the hard way. Jesus' eyes pierced the core of his being, when the Lord looked at Peter after he had denied the Lord three times (Luke 22: 61). With that look, the Lord, so to say, touched the place of his human strength, the seatbed of his human abilities or more aptly said, the power of his soul. He was shattered. He wept bitterly. A grave realization dawned on him. This Peter can never serve the Lord. Such was the blow to Peter that, even the sight of the resurrected Lord could not bring in him the initial fervour and zeal. He was shattered beyond the means of human redemption. An intervention by the Lord Himself could save him and that is what our wonderful Saviour did. On the third appearance at the sea shore, He first ministered to a heavily wounded Peter and brought back to the Christian world a Peter who would never rely on fleshly abilities to serve the supernatural.
I dealt with this subject at some length, because in it there is a vital message which the Holy Spirit wants to impart to each one of us, who want to become His disciples.
Isn't it true that most of us want to serve our Lord with our talents and abilities? How often do we hear these words, "He is so talented; she would be a great asset to the Kingdom of God with her talents; He has such power of oratory, Oh! this can be so fruitfully utilized for the work of God"!! If you believe on these phrases, you are in for a shock! God would not have any of these things for His glory. If some of you don't agree with me, but you are serious enough in the things of God, then you will surely realise this truth one day.
If the above case of Peter does not satisfy you, space does no justice to me, to tell about Moses, Jacob, David, Abraham etc., through whose life if can be proved beyond a shadow of doubt, that God brought them to a place where they should never rely on their natural abilities (or talents as we are acquainted to say) to serve Him.
"Unless a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12: 24).