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One thing I've learned over the years is this: When you get full of God's presence, you get full of His will for your life. You'll never see a backslider full of the will of God.

Peter is a good example of what I'm talking about. Let's look first at how Peter reacted when Jesus was arrested and taken to the high priest for questioning.
But those who had seized Jesus took Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed Him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest's home; he even went inside and sat with the guards to see the end.
(Matthew 26:57-58)
Fear and insecurity were already taking over Peter's emotions. He wasn't even a part of the crowd that was taking Jesus to the high priest. Peter's Master, the one who had taught him everything, was in trouble. Peter had been with Jesus constantly for three years. Yet now in the face of crisis, he was already shrinking back.

The temple guards took Jesus into the place where the elders and the Sanhedrin sat, waiting to question him. But Peter stopped and waited in the courtyard of the high priest's home.

From this point on, the plot worsens, as we well know from Matthew 26. While Jesus was being accused and abused before the Sanhedrin, Peter stayed outside in the courtyard, denying that he even knew Him!
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and one maid came up to him and said, You were also with Jesus the Galilean! But he denied it falsely before them all, saying, I do not know what you mean.

And when he had gone out to the porch, another maid saw him, and she said to the bystanders, This fellow was with Jesus the Nazarene! And again he denied it and disowned Him with an oath, saying, I do not know the Man!

After a little while, the bystanders came up and said to Peter, You certainly are one of them too, for even your accent betrays you. Then Peter began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, I do not even know the Man!

And at that moment a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered Jesus' words, when He had said, Before a single rooster crows, you will deny and disown Me three times. And he went outside and wept bitterly.
(vv. 69-75)
This man Peter was always gripped by insecurity, fear, and timidity. But he could never have fulfilled the plan and will of God in the years to come with those characteristics. It was going to take great boldness to do what he was called to do. So somewhere along the way, Peter had to be changed.

That's exactly what happened. Something changed Peter from a fearful, timid man to a bold preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Acts 2 gives us the account of that "something:"
And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place, When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them.
(vv. 1-3)
The manifested presence of God came down with power, settling as tongues of fire on the 120 who were gathered in that room. In an instant, every person present was changed forever.
And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues)....
Now there were then residing in Jerusalem Jews, devout and God-fearing men from every country under heaven. And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together…
(Acts 2:4-6)
Notice that it says a multitude came together. Remember, we just read in Matthew 26 of a situation where Peter couldn't even speak the truth to one person. He couldn't even tell a little maid that he knew Jesus!

This multitude wanted to know what was going on. Verse 6 also says, "…they were astonished and bewildered, because each one heard them [the apostles] speaking in his own [particular] dialect."

Given Peter's past track record, you'd think he would have just turned tail and run from all those people. But look in verse 14 at how he responded to the situation: "But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them [the multitude]."

The first sermon Peter ever preached was to the multitudes! Personally, that impresses me because the first sermon I ever preached was to about ten people. I was so nervous, I could hardly breathe. My heart was beating so fast, I didn't know what was going to happen to me!

Yet Peter stood up and boldly addressed that multitude of people, saying, "You Jews and all you residents of Jerusalem, let this be [explained] to you so that you will know and understand; listen closely to what I have to say" (Acts 2:14).

I'm telling you, a great change had come over this man! The fountains of the deep that were on the inside of him had been broken up and released to flow out of him. Peter had been changed by the power of God. He got so filled up with God's presence that he became filled with the will of God. And he preached and preached and preached until three thousand were saved!

And don't forget—Peter wasn't the only one who came out of that room a changed person on the day of Pentecost. All the people who were there had had their own personal experience with God's presence—a supernatural experience that altered their personality and put them in a yielded state so God could fulfill His will in their lives.

Source: Renewed In His Presence by Lynne Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Lynne Hammond
Web site: Lynne Hammond Ministries
A teacher and an author, Lynne publishes a newsletter called Prayer Notes, has written numerous books, and currently serves as the national prayer director for Daughters for Zion. Her passion for inspiring and leading others into the life of Spirit-led prayer continues to take her around the world to minister to believers whose heart cry, like hers, is “Lord, teach me to pray!”

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