Peter said unto Him, Lord, why cannot I follow Thee now? John 13:37.
There are times when you cannot understand why you cannot do what you want to do. When God brings the blank space, see that you do not fill it in, but wait. The blank space may come in order to teach you what sanctification means; or it may come after sanctification to teach you what service means. Never run before God’s guidance. If there is the slightest doubt, then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt—don’t.
In the beginning you may see clearly what God’s will is—the severance of a friendship, the breaking off of a business relationship, something you feel distinctly before God is His will for you to do, never do it on the impulse of that feeling. If you do, you will end in making difficulties that will take years of time to put right. Wait for God’s time to bring it round and He will do it without any heartbreak or disappointment. When it is a question of the providential will of God, wait for God to move.
Peter did not wait on God, he forecast in his mind where the test would come, and the test came where he did not expect it. “I will lay down my life for Thy sake.” Peter’s declaration was honest but ignorant. “Jesus answered him . . . The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied Me thrice.” This was said with a deeper knowledge of Peter than Peter had of himself. He could not follow Jesus because he did not know himself, or of what he was capable. Natural devotion may be all very well to attract us to Jesus, to make us feel His fascination, but it will never make us disciples. Natural devotion will always deny Jesus somewhere or other.