Incubation period

Luke 22: 32 - But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

All of us who have some years in the Lord have all experienced a low time in our lives wherein our faith was shaken. This is the incubation period after which we break out of the shell.

In today's scripture we see Jesus talking to Peter about his period. It is very interesting to know the words Jesus used in this conversation. This helps us understand the incubation period and thus can quicken it.

We will go backwards with the 4 important words Jesus used strengthen, converted, fail and prayed.

The Greek word 'sterizo' translated as 'strengthen' does not mean to make stronger but means to stabilize. We normally think that faith is a vitamin which strengthens us, but we see here that it is not to do with strengthening us but to make firm our foundation, our understanding and keep us from shaking. Our lack of faith causes our mind to think a thousand things and thus we become victims to vanity. Faith saves us from becoming victims to vanity by keeping us rooted in the Truth.

The second word converted is translated from the Greek word 'epistrepho' which is a combination of 'epi' which means on and 'strepho' which means return or turning back. Lack of faith causes us like the prodigal son to break relationship with God and a victim to the foolishness of this world. It is only when we realize and repent and come back that we rebuild our relationship with God. Faith gives us authority just like the father gave his son a ring of authority.

The word translated as fail is the Greek word 'ekleipo' also comes from two words 'ek' which means out and 'leipo' which means lack. Thus 'ekleipo' means that one does not lose faith but that one lacks it. If one understands faith is simply means 'trusting the Truth', God's Word alone is true and does not change. This can happen only when we have an understanding of it. And Jesus tells us that to know the truth we need to not only study the Word but also walk in it. It is when we become His disciples (follow Him like He abided by every Word), then only will we know the Truth and the Truth build our faith and shall set us free from the lacking.

The last of the 4 words is a word that Jesus used as a process which He did is 'prayed'. The Greek word 'deomai' gives the real meaning of what Jesus did. When we use the English word 'prayed' it means more of making supplication or a request to God. What Jesus did is unlike what prayed means. The word 'deomai' comes from the word 'deo' which means 'to bind'. Grammatically it is in a middle voice. Our mind or inner-man or soul being the middle brings us to the understanding of what Jesus did. Which give us the two processes: one that Jesus in His mind bound the elements that caused the shaking of Peter from the Truth and the other is that Jesus bound the mind of Peter from wandering. This caused Peter to realize the Truth and return.

In short we see that it is the lack of understanding of the Truth that causes us to lose faith and become vanity and victim to the powers this world and its rulers. When we meditate and abide by the Word, we come into the understanding of the Truth and return to a better relation with God. By today's message Jesus also showed us what to do when we see others lacking faith, we should take authority and bind their minds from wandering, open the window of grace into their lives and cause them to return.

[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord we thank You for the Truth which holds us in relation with You. You are the Truth and your Word is Truth. When we are in You we come into the knowledge of the Truth and are firmly rooted. Lord we pray we this understanding which You have given us today remains alive in us and comes fresh to our minds especially when our faith is shaken...

This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.

[ Reference Scripture ]
Matthew 16:6-12
6 And Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, We took no bread.
8 And Jesus perceiving it said, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have no bread?
9 Do ye not yet perceive, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
11 How is it that ye do not perceive that I spake not to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
12 Then understood they that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

The Word of God was given free to us, therefore we should also share it freely with others.
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