In Matthew 16 Jesus begins to unfold for his disciples the strategic plan of God. The plans went something like this: Jesus must soon travel to Jerusalem, suffer many things, be killed at the hands of the Jewish leaders in power and three days later be raised from the dead.
Sounds like a plan we're familiar with but for Peter, he was not comfortable with the idea. In fact, he rebukes Jesus (never a good idea), "Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!" In other words, "Jesus, this plan is a bad idea. I'm sure we can come up with something better. Something less painful. Something less... "
But in Matthew 16:23 Jesus turns to Peter and sets him in his place. And I've read this verse dozens and dozens of times in the past but this morning the words of Jesus struck me with new meaning and relevance. Jesus told Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
And I thought, "Oh my! How many times have I been a stumbling block to Jesus' plan for the future because I had in mind the things of man and not the things of God. How many times have I been reluctant to grab hold of God's vision because I'm looking at things with my natural mind? How many times have I rejected his plan because I wanted my plan?"
Oh God forgive us for all the times we've been a stumbling block! May we always have in mind the things of God and may we always chase after your plan for the future and not ours!
Lord, we give you the eyes of our heart, fill them with YOUR vision.
Lord, we give you the ears of our heart, fill them with YOUR voice.