- Matthew 16:33 – But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
- James 4:7 – Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
- Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Lord has been teaching me about rejection this week through these 3 scriptures.
How do you think Peter felt when Jesus said to him (“at him” is a more accurate way to say it, in my view) “get behind me Satan”? How would you feel if someone that you loved, trusted, and respected said that to you? I’d say that the majority off us would be highly offended.
But when you really think the situation through, and accept the reality that the enemy can do his dastardly, counterfeit work by implanting his thoughts and emotions in our soul (mind/will/emotions) in an effort to get us to react by his leading instead of responding by Christ-in-us, then it transforms the scenario from an offense, to a loving and kingdom-building action. The James 4 passage above instructs us to resist the devil, and this scene with Peter is one example of what that looks like when he’s working through a person. Jesus’ love-for and commitment-to Peter were both still rock-solid. He wasn’t even dealing with Peter as much as He was dealing with Satan. But it would sure take a higher, less self-righteous, more humble, and wise perspective on Peter’s behalf to not feel rejected from this exchange.
If Peter realized that our Lord of Hosts and Mighty Warrior King was drawing His sword and taking dominion over Satan, and slicing him out of Peter’s soul, and enabling him to be more of the Spirit (Hebrews 4:12); then Peter’s reaction would be much less offense and rejection, and much more agreement, thanks, and praise. He’d be more like a P.O.W. who’d been been brainwashed into dominating his fellow prisoners in service to his captors; and had been rescued, set-free; and then employed with the glorious task of leading the effort to get the rest of his fellow prisoners loosed.
So the next time you feel rejected, or worry about whether someone feels rejected by you; pray for the Lord to grant you discernment. Discernment as to whether the enemy is being resisted, or if someone’s truly being unkind.