Thursday, February 11, 2016
“Peter...said ‘This shall never happen to you!’...Jesus turned and said to Peter... ‘You are a stumbling I block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men’” Matthew 16:22-23.
When I was a teenager I would get so frustrated that my mother would not give me permission to participate in certain things with my friends. They always went to the river on weekends and I learned very early that the answer would be no. The frustration was more about me thinking she didn’t trust me but in reality it was that she knew temptation can sometimes be too much to yield. I love my friends from my childhood and to this day we would do anything for each other. None of them had any intent on leading me into unsafe or unhealthy things. We were just a group of committed friends who wanted to be together. I look back as an adult and understand that my mother had in her mind to protect me... mold me...direct me into being my best self.
Our Father is no different. He has a plan and purpose in His mind for every one of us. We can do all of the planning we want, seek the mind of everyone around us and weigh the pros and cons. But, the One who has the most wisdom for our circumstances and decisions are God. We cannot base our decisions on what people say, even our family and friends. We can listen to those around us and if it supports what the Lord is telling us through His word and prayer then it becomes confirmation. Just like Peter was trying to protect and guide His friend Jesus, we can easily become a stumbling block for our family and friends through our advice.
When those we care about come to us for advice we must point them to prayer to determine what God has on His mind for their decisions. I use to be the first to spout off advice in every situation but now I’m led to do more listening so I’ll know how to pray. We must seek the mind of Christ in everything we do to determine His will, His ways and His thoughts. By walking out His ‘no’ we walk under a protective covering from God. By walking out His ‘yes’ we walk in confidence of His will.
“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37.