One of the characters that I love in the New Testament is the Apostle Peter, probably because I’m so much like him in so many ways. But I think there’s enough of Peter in all of us to be able to recognize ourselves in him.
One of the big things I’ve had to learn in my life was the same lesson that Peter had to learn: to get out of God’s way. Look at what Jesus said to Peter in Galilee:
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” (Matt 16:21–23, NIV).
Jesus knows what he has to do, but Peter always seems to know better than the Lord. So, Jesus tells him to get out of his way.
We all need to learn that God’s way is always the best way.
It happened again in the Garden of Gethsemane:
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (Matt 26:50–53, NIV).
Again, Peter is getting in the way of Jesus, and of what Jesus knows that he has to do. For Peter, being a follower of Jesus doesn’t mean the path of suffering, it doesn’t mean the path of the cross.
How many times in my life have I been in Jesus’ way because what I’ve wanted hasn’t matched up what God has wanted for my life! It’s especially hard when you feel that you aren’t in control of what is happening, and when you don’t understand “why.” And for me, that’s most of the time.
I’m learning to get out of God’s way. I still have a long way to go. We all do. It took Peter a long time too.
It’s not always easy, but we all need to learn that God’s way is always the best way.
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.