Adversaries

Mark 8:31-33New American Standard Bible (NASB)

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and *said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on [a]God’s interests, but man’s.”

How often have you believed that you had more understanding of your life situation than God did? Be honest. How many times in the course of your days have you "rebuked" Him for how He was, or was not working in your life? Where and when have you "taken Him aside," as Peter did with Jesus, and chastised Him for the way He was moving, or not moving in and for you?

I've been pastoring for more than 30 years now, and in that time I've had occasion to talk with a lot of people about a great many things in their life. Always, I will bring Scripture, what the Lord's view on the situation is. I can't number the times that a person has said, in some manner, "I agree with that, but...." What they're really saying is, "I know that's what His Word says, but, in this case, I'm sure it doesn't apply to me." It reminds me of a scene I once saw in a TV sitcom. A deli shop has posted a "Closed" sign on its door, but the character of a young woman, seeing herself as entitled, entered anyway. When asked if she had seen the sign, she answered, "I saw the sign, but naturally, I didn't think it applied to me." So often, we can be the same with Him. We know what He has commanded, we know what His Word and will are in our situation, but we don't think it applies to us. Not in our current circumstance anyway. We, like Peter, think we have a better grasp on things than He does. We're sure we'll convince Him of this, get Him to see things as they really are, gently rebuking Him for His desire to carry out His intentions for us. We see ourselves as His well meaning friends. He sees us as His adversaries.

Jesus would say to Peter that he was the rock on which He would build His Church. Here he calls him Satan.
Peter was part of Christ's inner circle. How could He say that to him? He did so because Peter, unaware or not, was fulfilling the role of the enemy. He was trying to dissuade Christ from the very purpose for which He'd been sent. Satan's very name means Adversary. He will seek at every time and place to thwart the will and purposes of God in all places, especially the lives of His people. No matter how well meaning we may feel we are, when we seek to turn Him aside from how He is working in our lives and the lives of others, we are fulfilling the role of adversary. Where might we be doing so right now?

Think on this. Parents pray for the souls of their prodigal children, then when God begins to take them out into a wilderness in order to bring them to the end of themselves, they intervene to allay the suffering that may be taking place, thus frustrating what the Lord is working in them. They become adversaries. Peter could not understand how God's purposes could be carried out through the cross and Christ's death. It made no sense. He surely knew better. So he who was His friend, now became His adversary. It's a role all of us can easily assume. Where are we assuming it right now?

Where are you in disagreement with how He is carrying out His will for you, your family, marriage, friends, and ministries? Is there any place where you have become His adversary in them, seeking to get Him to work in your way, and not His? Where is He saying, "Get behind Me....?" Where might you, no matter how well intentioned, be carrying out the desires of the enemy instead of the desires of the King?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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