Power verse: Matthew 16:23
But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Jesus was at the point in His ministry where He knew it was soon time to give up His life on the cross. He was trying to tell the disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, suffer many things from the religious community there, be killed and then be raised on the third day.
Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked Jesus, telling Him this would never happen. Can you imagine rebuking Jesus? That’s what Peter did. And that’s why Jesus told him, “Get behind me Satan!” Peter was only thinking of what that would mean to himself and to his friends. He had a different future in mind, and it certainly didn’t include Jesus leaving them by suffering and dying.
It’s the next line that I find myself thinking about quite a bit:
“You are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” How many times do I resist God’s work in my life or in the people around me because I’m only thinking about myself? And I speak it like it’s truth, resisting and contradicting God’s plan.
How easy it is to set our mind on our own business and not on things above. If we’re not in close connection to God through His Word and through listening prayer, we think we’re right.
There are other times when someone else is the one resisting the things of God. They may be the one who has to control the conversation, keeping the talk to only surface things that aren’t convicting, or going off on a strange tangent just to hear themselves talk. Why is it? Perhaps it is because they totally have their minds fixed squarely on themselves. I’ve never had the courage or bluntness to say, “Get behind me Satan,” but I think it and pray it silently.
Colossians 3:1-3 admonishes us to “set our hearts and minds on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” How do we do that? One way is to guard your time with God soaking in the truths of Scripture and communicating with Him in prayer. Galatians 5:25 reminds us as well, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” Don’t be a hinderance to the things of God!