Peter was one of the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. He loved the Lord very dearly, and was closer to Him than most of the other disciples. He was one of those that Jesus took with Him whenever He didn’t want too many people around. For instance, in Matthew 17, he was one of the three that Jesus took to the mountain of transfiguration. Also, in Mathew 26, he was one of the three that Jesus took beyond where the other disciples were. When Jesus was going to raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead, Peter was one of those that He took into the room with Him, while He kept everyone else out. Jesus and Peter were very close, and it was obvious that Peter knew Jesus’ identity, at least by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. This is why when Jesus asked the disciples in Matthew 16:15 “But whom say ye that I am”, Peter said in verse 16 “…Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter was not an unbeliever; he was a Christian, a genuine and sincere follower of Jesus Christ.
But then in Matthew chapter 16 verse 21 the Bible records that Jesus started to let His disciples know that He would go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things in the hands of the elders, the scribes, the chief priests; He told them that He would be killed, and be raised again the third day. In verse 22 of the same chapter, Peter took Jesus aside and “began to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not happen unto Thee.” Did Peter react in that way because he hated Jesus and didn’t want Him to fulfill the purpose for which God sent Him to the earth? No. Did he do it because he hated his fellow men, and didn’t want Jesus to die and save them from their sins? No. Rather, he did it because he loved Jesus and didn’t want anything evil to befall Him. He wanted Jesus to remain alive and safe from every harm and hurt. He acted in sincere and genuine love for the Lord.
We all have our “Peters” in the form of our husbands, wives, children, parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, true friends, loving neighbors, etc; people who love us sincerely and do not want to see us get hurt. They wish us the very best that life has to offer, and seeing us full of joy gives them joy. Sometimes, though, in trying to protect us from harm, or in a bid to do us good, our “Peters” say no to what is clearly the will of God for our lives because they cannot see it bringing us anything but pain and sorrow. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians don’t know what to do when “Peter” says no to the will of God. They know that “Peter” loves them, and, desiring to show their appreciation for “his” love, they walk away from the will of God, and plunge themselves into darkness, piercing themselves through with many sorrows. For instance, “Peter” will say no to your plan to marry that poor, struggling brother whom you know, by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, to be your God-chosen husband. Instead, “he” wants you to marry that son of a multi millionaire who has promised to love, cherish and spoil you with everything that money can buy if you marry him. “Peter” will kick against your decision to quit your fantastic job to go into the work of the ministry, which is what God has instructed you to do. “Peter” cannot understand your decision to abandon the city with all the comfort it has to offer in order to move to a remote village where there are no good roads, no electricity, pipe-borne water, good hospitals, etc all because the Lord has called you to be a missionary there. “Peter” will say no to your decision to stick with your wife of ten years who has not had any child for you. “He” wants you to forget about Christianity for once and help yourself by marrying someone through whom you can have children; even if you will not take another wife, at least have your children through another woman somewhere while you remain married to your wife. “Peter” hates to see how mean your colleague at work is to you, so “he” will want you to use everything at your disposal to fight back instead of waiting for God to take vengeance for you in His own time and way – sometimes God can be too slow in coming, and you would have suffered too much humiliation and too many insults in that person’s hands before He arrives with His judgment. “Peter” wants you to stay home and sleep on a night when you are supposed to attend a prayer vigil. You were at work all day, and getting home, you had to take care of the children and cook for the family, and so you need all the rest that you can get. “He” wants you to stay away from evangelism (it’s either too sunny or too cold outside). “Peter” says no to your desire to join the children’s teachers in your church, because children are too noisy and “he” doesn’t want you to leave the church with a headache every Sunday. “He” tries to convince you that “he” would hate to see you get sick as a result of serving God. Leave the work of God for pastors, ordained ministers, the single brothers/sisters, the jobless, and married couples that have no children. You have a good reason not to be busy for the Lord; what would happen to the children if you broke down? You are over forty years of age, and still single, and all the people that keep coming to ask for your hand in marriage are unbelievers. “Peter” keeps reminding you that time is not on your side, and that soon even those people you say you cannot be unequally yoked together with will no longer be interested in you. By the way, who told you that you cannot marry one of them and then convert him (as if God has taken the job of converting souls from the Holy Spirit, and given it to human beings).
Every now and again, “Peter” will want you to do something that is contrary to the word of God, or something that is different from the specific will of God for you in a given area of your life. Remember that “he” is not acting that way because “he” hates you and wants to push you against God so that you could be destroyed. Rather, “he” is acting out of sincere love for you: “he” wishes you well. But the truth is, you cannot choose the love of “Peter” over the will of God. You cannot please “Peter” at the expense of your relationship with the Lord.
What should be your reaction when “Peter” says no to the will of God for your life? Jesus provided us the perfect example in Matthew 16:23 “But He turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind Me, satan: thou art an offense unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” At such a time you need to look beyond the loving, caring “Peter” who wishes you well, and see the mean, destructive, hateful satan who wants to make you an enemy of God. Resist the devil in the Name of Jesus. That is not to say that you will look at your husband, wife, father, mother or whoever represents “Peter” at that time and call him/her Satan. Resist the devil in prayer, and ask the Lord to speak for you, and to convince your “Peter”, especially if “he” has authority over you. But you cannot turn your back on the will of God for any reason – you cannot marry an unbeliever because “Peter” says to do so – you would be colliding headlong with the Man of war, and you know who will get hurt. You cannot abandon the call of God upon your life because “Peter” says no to it (“Peter” cannot deliver you in the day of God’s wrath). You have to hold on to the Word of God and whatever vision He has given you, praying until “Peter” comes to agree with you. Sometimes, holding onto God attracts persecution but then the Bible says that all those who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Also, you are not to fear those who can only kill the body, but rather fear God who can destroy both the body and the soul in hell.
There are times, however, when you just have to let certain things go for the sake of peace if “Peter” will not let you do what you want to do for the Lord. For instance, if you are a married woman and your husband would not let you attend a prayer vigil on a particular night, you can only pray and try to convince him to let you go. If he refuses, you have to stay home because if you choose to disobey him, whatever prayer you pray at that vigil is abomination to the Lord because you have acted in disobedience to the word of God (the Bible says you should submit to your own husband, and to obey is better than sacrifice). Bear in mind, though, that God cannot be mocked. Do not try to hide under the cover of not wanting to disobey “Peter” to avoid doing something that you did not want to do for the Lord in the first place. For instance, a married woman is quick to announce that she cannot attend a program in church because her husband does not want her to. Yet, the same woman refuses to listen when her husband gives her other instructions that she does not wish to follow. God knows you very well.
For as long as you remain alive and have “Peters” who love and wish you well, there will always be times when they will say no to the will of God for you because they do not want to “see you get hurt”. Whenever that happens, remember that the devil is the one trying to use your “Peter” to lead you astray. So, the next time “Peter” says no, you say no to the devil.

By victoria baiye



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