16 Dec 2009
Matthew 16:21-23 (KJV)
21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23 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.
The word translated savourest in the KJV is Phro-ne-o : This word means to think, but carries the idea of thinking with strong feelings, or a determined will.
Jesus uses this word to focus like a laser on Peter’s wrong headed thinking.
He said to Peter with the strongest words possible, I am opposed to your thoughts; your thinking is corrupted. This passage reveals that there are two opposite ways to think. One way to think is from the perspective of God and about the things of God. The other is to think from the perspective of men and about the things of men.
For most of us, like Peter in this case, pride fuels our thoughts. Pride is the root cause behind the thinking of men. Pride is the foundation of self-centeredness. Pride encourages comparisons. Pride motivates self-promotion. Pride is the root of jealousy. Like Peter, when we are filled with the thinking of men, we are absolutely confident that our thinking is correct and very insightful. Look at Peter’s confidence in verse 23 …. It says he took Jesus and began to rebuke Him.
Pride is usually hidden from its rightful owner. Yes, we can often see pride perched on the shoulders of others but the mirrors of our mind do not seem to reflect pride for us to see.
By way of personal application …… Jesus is telling us that, like Peter, our thoughts are self-centered and His thoughts are God centered.
If we are to become disciples of Jesus we must ask God to reveal to us His perspective on our thinking. As long as we are blind to our pride and our wrong-headed thinking we will continue, like Peter, to strongly hold on to this thinking and embrace it.
If we sincerely desire to follow Christ and to bring glory to His name we must start our quest at the root cause …. with a desperate desire for humility. God did not create mankind to get for Himself a big bunch of worker bees. He created you and me to be His children. We were created for a personal intimate relationship with our heavenly Father.
Humility leads to intimacy with God. Pride leads to alienation from God. In God’s economy, without the presence of God, we can do nothing.
God hates pride in His children; but pride is promoted as good and normal in the eyes of men. We read in ……..
Proverbs 16:5 (AMP)
5 Everyone proud and arrogant in heart is disgusting, hateful, and exceedingly offensive to the Lord; be assured [I pledge it] they will not go unpunished.
Do you sincerely want to follow Christ? Do you want to make a difference in His Kingdom. Fulfilling these desires is not so much about what we do; but it is always first about what we think, what we believe. What we really think and believe, not what we say we believe, controls what we do, what we obey.
Are you willing to ask God to reveal your pride to you? Not in a casual way but with a heart to make this is a life long pursuit? Your pursuit of humility is a pursuit that continually brings a smile to the face of your Heavenly Father.
Your impact for God, your intimacy with Him, the health of your Church and your eternal rewards are at stake. What will be your choice?