“Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”
Matthew 16:22, 23
In preparing His disciples for His pending death on the cross, Jesus began to inform them specifically of what lay ahead. He would suffer many things, be killed, and then resurrect on the third day. Peter did not accept this news. In his impulsive way, he rebuked Jesus Christ and insisted that this would not be allowed. Jesus then “said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan.” When Peter verbally resisted the path to the cross, our Lord attributed his words to the devil. Then Peter was rebuked for thinking only in terms of the natural, rather than the spiritual.
Many of us can relate to this event in Peter’s life. Sometimes God’s Word or His will conflicts with our desire or opinion of what would be best. Our minds fill with questions, such as, “Why would God let this happen?” or “How can this possibly be God’s will?” We do not always understand God’s will for our lives, or His plan for others. However, we must learn to accept God’s design and resign ourselves to His will. It is never acceptable to assume that we are right and God is wrong. To think so would be very presumptuous and prideful on our part. Like Peter, we sometimes do not comprehend the things of God, but only those that are of men. Satan was using Peter to speak words contrary to the revealed will of the Father. Peter failed to recognize the origin of these thoughts, and then spoke them to Jesus.
The enemy will use any instrument he can to verbalize his rejection of biblical truth. Like Jesus, we need to recognize when the words that are coming to us are actually Satan’s words, though offered through unsuspecting persons. How can we know which words are being used of the enemy? When the words we hear or speak are opposed to God’s revealed will, seeking to detour us from God’s plan, or enticing us to disobey God’s Word and His delegated authority, we can be assured the devil is at work. If Peter could be used to voice an unbiblical message, we know that any of us could do the same. When we recognize that we are believing a lie, we should immediately resist it and embrace the truth.