40 You Should Imitate Peter
1. Peter is mentioned, everybody is full of praise. Peter was agile of wit, endowed with native intelligence, he believed that the heavens and earth and all things are in the hands of the Almighty, and that all positive things originate from God and come directly from Him, without passing through any processing by Satan. With the counterexample of his parents to serve as a foil, this enabled him all the more readily to recognize God’s love and mercy, thereby inflaming in him an even greater passion to seek after God. He paid close attention not only to eating and drinking God’s words, but even more to grasping God’s intentions, and was constantly prudent and cautious in his thoughts, so that he was always keenly astute in his spirit, and hence was able to please God in everything he did. He paid close attention to integrating into his own life the lessons of those who had failed in the past so as to spur himself on to greater endeavor, deeply afraid that he might fall into the nets of failure.
2. He paid close attention to assimilating the faith and love of those through the ages. He could place all that he had in God’s hands, no longer being his own master even in eating, dressing, sleeping, or where he stayed, but made satisfying God in all things the foundation on which he enjoyed His bounty. So many times did God put him under trial, which of course left him half dead, in the midst of these hundreds of trials, he never once lost faith in God. When God said He had already thrown him aside, he did not grow faint of heart or fall into despair, but continued as before to carry out his principles so as to realize his love for God. When God told him that, even though he loved God, God did not commend him but would cast him into Satan’s hands in the end. In the midst of these trials, which did not reach unto his flesh but were trials by means of words, he still prayed to God.
3. Oh, God! Among the heavens and earth and the myriad things, is there any man, any creature, or any thing that is not in the hands of the Almighty? When You wish to show me mercy, my heart rejoices greatly on account of Your mercy; when You wish to pass judgment on me, unworthy though I may be, I feel all the more the profound mystery of Your deeds, because You are filled with authority and wisdom. Though my flesh may suffer, I am comforted in my spirit. How could I not extol Your wisdom and Your deeds? Even if I die after coming to know You, I would be ever ready and willing. Oh, God! Surely it is not that You truly do not wish to let me see You? Surely it is not that I am truly unworthy of receiving Your judgment? Can it possibly be that there is something in me that You do not wish to see?
4. In the midst of these kinds of trials, even though Peter was not able to grasp God’s intentions accurately, it is evident that he considered it a matter of pride and personal glory to be used by God, and was anything but dejected on account of being put under trial. Because of his loyalty in God’s presence, and because of God’s blessings upon him, he has become an exemplar and a model for mankind. This is not precisely the example that you should follow. You should think hard and try to work out why God has given such a lengthy account of Peter. This should serve you as a code of conduct. Why God has given such a lengthy account of Peter. This should serve you as a code of conduct.
from “The Sixth Utterance” of God’s Utterance to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh