When Godly People Do Satan's Work

But He turned and said to Peter, ďGet behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on Godís interests, but manís.Ē Matthew 16:23

How can a God-focused person do Satanís work? First, acknowledge such happens. Peter was a God-focused person. However, if Jesus called Peter Satan, at that moment in that act, Peter did Satanís work. Second, note Peter did not know he did Satanís work. He was certain he did Godís work! When Peter told Jesus, ďThis will never happen to you,Ē he affirmed a loyalty that furthered Godís objectives (he thought). Third, note Peter actually opposed Godís purposes when he was certain that he assured the accomplishment of Godís purposes. He was certain his affirmation of loyalty in this manner was encouraging!

The point is this: when a human confuses personal desires with Godís objectives, he/she will do Satanís work believing he/she is doing Godís work. Exchanging human desires for Godís objectives is spiritually deadly! For example, was it good to be committed to Jesusí continuing physical life? Peter thought so! What was Godís objective? Jesusí humiliating death and glorious resurrection! What was Jesusí physical desire? To live! Read Matthew 26:37-39.

Jesus did not want suffering, but he surrendered to Godís purposes. Did Peterís affirmation of loyalty encourage Jesusí surrender? No! So who was Peter helpingóGodís purpose or Satanís discouragement? Here Peter worked for Satan not God!

How did that happen? Peter wanted Jesus to be Israelís physical king. He wanted first- century Israel to be an independent power in world politics. He wanted to serve in Jesusí administration. None of that could happen if Jesus died!

God had something better in mindóa universal Savior who extended forgiveness to all! However, for that to be, Jesus had to die. What seemed good to Peter was disastrous to Godís purpose. Human desires were not Godís purpose! What made sense to Peter powerfully discouraged Jesus! Human desires destroyed Godís objective!

Do you surrender to God or try to manipulate God? Do your wants oppose God?

 

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, Jan. 23, 2011

 

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