Jesus turned to Peter and said,“Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” ~ Matthew 16:23 NLT
How many times have you thought that a loved one or a friend was making a wrong, or even a harmful, decision? I confess I have done it many times. Do we speak out, or not? The answer is given to us in the verse above.
First, we know, that no matter the choice, we are never to judge or condemn the person for making it. However, we can pray that God will use it for that person’s and others’ good, no matter the consequences.
In Matthew 16 Jesus gives us a clearer answer as to how NOT to respond. His friend Peter thought he was on a roll. He had just told Jesus that he knew Jesus was the Messiah and Jesus had told him, that as a result of that answer, Peter would be given the keys, symbolizing authority, to the Kingdom of Heaven. In his euphoria, Peter had missed an important point. Jesus had clearly said that Peter only knew that he was the long-awaited Christ because the Father had revealed it to him. It was not by his own brilliance or discernment.
So, when Jesus told his disciples that he was about to be tortured and killed, Peter assumed he knew better than Jesus. In his viewpoint, that would never happen to his Messiah! What Jesus said next must have felt like a slap in the face. In that moment, Peter fell from being teacher’s pet to “a dangerous trap” set by Satan!
What happened? As Jesus pointed out, Peter was seeing things from a merely human point of view, not from God’s perspective. We don’t want that rebuke from Jesus, so how do we avoid it? As followers of Jesus, we have something, rather Someone, living in us that Peter did not have yet. The Holy Spirit, who Jesus promised would be sent and who would guide us into all truth. (Jn.16:13)
I am sure, you, like me, want to see things as God sees them. So, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to hear him clearly and to guide us every day. Let’s stop assuming we don’t need his help. God created us to live surrendered to true reality, his point of view. We may not have all the right answers, but we belong to a God who does. As we rely on God in every area of our lives, he can use us to bring Christ’s Kingdom to earth and glorify him in all we are and do.
Dear friend, be blessed as you trust that God loves you and has the best plan to grow you and use you in miraculous ways. May your eyes be opened to see as Jesus sees and may the Holy Spirit guide you more and more into all truth. Smile! Jesus has good plans for you! Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ September 27, 2022