Name-Calling

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

“It is possible that what we see as an inconvenient interruption is a divine appointment.” – John Ortberg

One of the worst feelings in the world had to have been being called “Satan” by Jesus Christ Himself.

Jesus was sharing with His disciples all that was going to occur. He told them how He would, suffer, be killed, and rise again. But Peter’s response to Christ’s grand plan is surprising:

God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you” (Matthew 16:22)

And then–when just a few verses before Christ called him the Rock– Jesus says, “Get behind me, Satan!

Oof. I’m sure Peter’s face turned a pretty shade of red. Look what Christ says next:

You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things” (Matthew 16:23).

Jesus diagnoses Peter’s issue immediately. The reason that Peter responded the way he did was because his mind was pointing in the wrong direction. He was focused inward rather than upward.

I wonder how many times we make the same mistake as Peter. Sometimes, we can be our own tallest stumbling block. We trip ourselves up, time and time again, simply because our minds are set in the wrong place.

Christ wants to give us a divine perspective. This was what He was attempting to give Peter, but Peter missed it. Jesus wants to peel back the layers of our world and reveal what He is doing. He wants us to see just a portion of His master redemptive plan. His desire is for us to be a part. But, too often, we miss it. God is laying out His map for our life but we are looking in the other direction.

Our minds are set on human things and not on divine things.

How many times has God set up an important interaction that we’ve missed because we are in a hurry? How many times has God wanted to use us but we were too stressed out to fulfill the call? How many times have we been given the opportunity to disciple but we had to hurry home to catch the newest episode of our favorite TV show?

It is by spending time in the Word and by developing a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit that we are able to set our minds on divine things. We must stop and listen to where He is guiding us and allow our schedules to be interrupted by divine appointments. We have to allow Jesus to open our eyes to His plan and not let anything get in the way of our following it.

Lord, help us to see where you are pointing and run where you are leading. May our minds be set on the things of heaven rather than the things of this world.

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