“Get behind me, Satan!” (Jesus) said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Imagine having a conversation with Jesus and your friends. In this conversation, as you share your thoughts and opinions, Jesus looks at you and says that God the father is at work in your life and that the Holy Spirit has plans to use you greatly for the Kingdom of God. What a moment that would be. I think it would be quite natural to feel a real sense of pride and honor that you are where God wants you to be, in an area of spiritual growth and maturity. Now imagine your surprise when only a few minutes later as you continue to share your “wisdom and insight” Jesus turns to you and calls you the father of lies and that you are a stumbling block to him. Wow. What a turn around.
When it comes to the hot topics of our day, I believe it is very easy for us to act like Peter. In some ways our faith may be very mature and God is pleased with us as we journey with Him. In these moments it is very natural to be proud and honored for the growth that the Spirit has provided in our lives. It’s easy to identify with this part of Peter’s story, but the other part of the story is one that is not so easily understood or realized. Even in our mature faith, is it possible that we have in mind the things of men and not of God? Are there areas of our lives and faith that have been polluted over time with the themes of men: power, control, and arrogance instead of the themes of the Kingdom: service, love, and humility?
I continue to realize that there is nothing in life that is as black and white as when I was a youth. The world of comic books are so appealing to so many people because they allow us to have a clearly defined “evil” that is readily identified and easy to attack. The journey of faith is one that keeps us humble and always seeking to be where God is encouraging us as being a “Rock” and not as being “the Devil”. May we have eyes to see and courage to admit when we’ve been too quick to make judgments and form opinions that might not have the things of God truly at heart.