Peter took [Jesus] aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” – Matthew 16:22-23
What is the definition of spiritual discernment? Could one definition be the ability to see or understand God’s will and purpose despite the clouded lens of our own preconceptions?
Peter, who clearly expressed his belief that Jesus was the Son of God and Jewish Messiah, could not comprehend how the Savior of the world might die at the hands of mortal men. He could accept a victorious King, but never a Suffering Servant. Why didn’t Peter understand? How could he have been so “dense?” We would never make such an ignorant mistake, would we?
Let’s see. Have we ever accepted the teachings of a popular Christianity that opposes God’s purposes by promising a life free from pain? Have we ever blamed Satan for the common tribulations of an earthly life? Have we only pursued those ministries that promised to keep us safe, secure, and financially stable? If the answer is yes, then we, too, are guilty of a declining discernment.
May the Holy Spirit activate in each of us the ever-present mind of Christ that we might see beyond our own temporal concerns to achieve His greater glory and good. The leaders of Issachar were valuable to King David because they “understood the times.” May our King Jesus be blessed in the same way by our Spirit-inspired wisdom.
If we cannot believe God when circumstances seem to be against us, we do not believe Him at all. – Charles Spurgeon
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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