But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” (Matt. 16:23 NAS)
One of the challenges of the “ultra-modern, high-tech man” is to acknowledge the reality of the spirit world. The world of the spirit is a reality that influences this natural life much more than we often realize in the busy routines of our daily schedule. Sadly, some believers have taken either of two extremes when it comes to dealing with the spiritual powers of wickedness that rule this life. On the one hand are some who see demons in almost everything. Their entire life is about casting out demons or deliverance. On the other hand are those who have no place to consider spiritual activity in some of the routines of their lives.
We must not be ignorant of the devices of Satan because he THRIVES when he is disguised and operating undercover. In the verse above, Jesus had just told the disciples he was going to die on the cross and verse 22 records “And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” Jesus then turned and said to Peter “get behind Me, Satan!”. It is clear He was speaking to Peter but not to Peter! Physically, Peter was standing before Him, but He was addressing the spirit that had put that thought in Peter’s mind. Peter was NOT possessed by Satan. His mind was a seed Satan used to sow a thought to influence Jesus. Satan has not changed today. His methods have not changed because they obviously are working well for him. Be sensitive to know when things happening around you are not as natural as they might seem.
Think on the verse above. Are there some circumstances you have recently encountered that you needed to address the spirit behind it? Did you recently fight with people instead of addressing the spirits? Remember we do not war against flesh and blood.
Ask the Father to keep you from both extremes the “super-spiritual” and the “too natural”. Pray for a spirit of discernment.
One of the great mistakes regarding spiritual warfare I have seen with believers is the thought that Satan or demons have to possess someone to be able to influence them. Wrong! Wrong! The incidence above is a clear scriptural example of the contrary. The mind is a sought-after battleground for spiritual warfare. Guard your mind. Do not fight against people. Recognize that some behaviors are not as natural as they may seem. Carnal Christians who are not spiritually sensitive will retaliate, fight back or get into an argument or quarrel with people who are against them. Be spiritual to know when things are not so natural and do not fight against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers of darkness.
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