But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Matthew 16:23 (ESV)

Imagine you are telling your best friend you’re done looking for love. You’re giving up on dating and have resigned to being alone the rest of your life. She stops you and tells you to straighten up and stop being dramatic. Mr. Right is out there you just have to keep looking and maybe try another dating app.

Instead of thanking her for the pragmatic advice, you turn and say, “Get behind me, Satan!”

Ouch. The fight would be on, for sure!

I really don’t recommend this tactic for most people. I’m not sure anyone but Jesus could actually get away with saying this and still salvage the relationship. But it’s good advice for us to follow when it comes to dealing with Satan’s attempts to get us off course.

Whether we are talking about dating, changing jobs, moving, or just about anything, it’s important for us to know what hinders us from accomplishing God’s will. And of course to do that, we need to know what God’s will is for us in the first place.

We begin with prayer, seeking God diligently, and listening carefully as His Spirit whispers to our hearts. Think of how often the Bible tells us that Jesus went off to pray. He stayed in constant communication with His Father and so should we. Once we know what to do, it’s time to take a stand and be ready to drive out the distractions.

Jesus was determined not to let anything hinder Him from God’s plan. His mind was firmly set on the things of God. So when His well-meaning disciple began to undermine that plan by pulling His eyes to earthly things, He had to act quickly.

  1. He recognized that Peter was being influenced by Satan. It sounded like good advice, but it wasn’t given through communication with God, it was through Peter’s self-protective instincts (watching your best friend die is soul-searingly painful).
  2. He rebuked Satan right in front of Peter. Yes, the words were coming through Peter, but Jesus recognized the plot of Satan. Nothing would have made Satan happier than Jesus not becoming the sacrifice for our sins.
  3. He acknowledged that listening to poor advice was a hindrance to His God-given mission. He didn’t try to tough it out or even leave it open for discussion. He shut it down immediately and with finality.
  4. He reminded Peter that God’s plan was bigger than what he could see on earth. Jesus saw His death through God’s eyes while Peter was looking at it with human eyes.

Today’s Challenge

Talk to God about what hinders you. What circumstance, character flaw, even well-meaning friends are sidetracking you from the task you know God has called you to do? Invite God to search you and speak wisdom into your situation.

As He brings things to mind, ask Him to remind you what your task looks like from a heavenly perspective. Acknowledge what hinders your task and boldly demand, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me.” God’s Word tells us that the devil has no choice but to flee when we resist him. With Satan out of the picture, you’ll be well on your way to completing whatever task God sets before you.

Father, we ask you to open our eyes to the things that hinder us from accomplishing Your will. Help us to see circumstances through Your eyes not through our earthly eyes. Thank you for giving us the victory over the devil’s schemes as we boldly kick him out by saying, “Get behind me, Satan!” In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Daughter of God, let nothing prevent you from finding wholeness in Christ.


One Response

  1. Distractions. Hinderances. Devils work. Thank you for reminding me that all I have to do is resist in Jesus name.

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