In Matthew 16:21-23 we read,
“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’
Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’”
The key issue I want to draw attention to here is how our Saviour rebuked Peter as Satan, because Peter had in mind human concerns and not the concerns of God. To have merely human concerns when we should have godly concerns is satanic.
This raises the question as to whether in our churches we can be satanic in our approach to our community life. Picking up from the words of our Lord to Peter, we are satanic when we are minding the ways of man, when we should be minding the ways of God. When we come to deal with matters in the church, and our approach is according to business reasoning or pure expediency, then we are minding the ways of man; we are being Satanic.
Why is it Satanic? It is Satanic because it harmonizes with the way of the adversary. The word “Satan” is derived from a word meaning adversary.
How do we make sure that we are being godly and not Satanic? We do so by making sure that we stick to the Word of God. This is because the Word of God reveals the mind of God. And we use the Word of God in a godly way. We do this by being faithful to scripture and relentlessly seeking the Lord’s Spirit to illuminate the Word.
So when we face issues, we keep ourselves from being satanic by always saying, ‘Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to the Word, they have no light of dawn.’ (Is. 8:10).
(Originally published at Venabling on 10th September 2013)