It must have been a tense moment when Jesus rebuked Peter. The Lord and His disciples had gained the attention of the people of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. The sick had been healed; the blind received their sight and lepers were cleansed. However, when Jesus began to reveal to His disciples what manner of death He would suffer, Peter scolded the Lord. In fact, Peter said, Matthew 16:22 “Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.”
Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get thee behind me Satan, for you do not understand the things of God.” The only other time Jesus said “Get thee behind me Satan” was when He actually addressed Satan in the wilderness. Luke 4:8
Peter was so filled with success that he failed to see Purpose. He was so consumed with the favorable outcome, perhaps affluence, that he stumbled over the Will of the Father. The sins of the world hung in the balance, but Peter only saw their momentary popularity. He was carnal. His mind was corrupted insomuch that Jesus likened him to Satan.
Paul wrote, Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. The carnal mind chokes out the Purpose of the Kingdom. It looks inward to appease the flesh. It removes believers out of worship and sacrifice and buries them in gossip, lust, and pride. Sadly, many who are overcome with carnality do not know how far away they are from the Kingdom.
The media, with its worldly content, is not to blame. Hollywood, while a continual source of degradation, is not to blame. Bad influences, offenses from other believers, or even spiritual darkness bears no responsibility. Carnality is a choice. We chose light or we chose darkness. We will either reject the world or receive it.
Paul went so far as to say that the carnal mind is hostile toward God. I see this in real time as people scoff at modest lifestyles and outward holiness standards. They are carnal. I see this when Pentecostals profess faith with their mouth, but have no works to prove it. Carnal Christianity is on the rise as more people watch television than pray; as more seek pleasure than offer their bodies as a living sacrifice.
The Spirit is calling us deeper. We must choose to be holy, righteous, and set a part. We must contend for the Faith that was once delivered. This is a war that we must win. Anything that leads us away from total commitment must be removed from our lives. Any weight that besets us must be set aside. It is time for us have the mind of God.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole