War Zone From Within
Rev. John Young
It was one of the most exciting days of his life. After a year of patiently teaching, with a myriad of miracles performed right before them, it finally came down to this moment: “Who do the people say that I am?”…“Who do you say that I am?” Peter blurted out: “You are the Messiah!” (Mark 8:29). WOW! What an earth-shattering pronouncement! They finally recognized who Jesus was! How could Jesus not be excited? After all, it was not a casual acknowledgement that any ordinary person could make and it was not something one would say without any consequence, because acknowledging who Jesus was was directly tied to what would happen to Him later… Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again (Mark 8:31). Jesus clearly knew what His destiny was, and was resolutely marching toward it. Yet for the disciples, especially Peter, such was not acceptable, that Christ, the Messiah, the chosen of God to save the world would suffer and be killed? “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you” (Matthew 16:22).
Now, isn’t it just shocking that an advice out of good intention on Peter’s part would invite such a sharp rebuke from Jesus? “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human thing.” (Mark 8:33). But pay close attention, even though Jesus appeared to rebuke Peter, he was actually rebuking Satan. What did Satan do to incur Jesus’ severe reprimand?
Satan’s trick was, and is, to capitalize on human nature of fear, worry, jealousy, or anger… to sow seeds of doubt in a person’s heart, causing him or her to doubt God and God’s plan. Even Jesus Himself was the object of Satan’s attack. The human heart is in reality the war zone of spiritual warfare.
The Lord God said to Cain: “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:6-7). This is the classical picture of the warfare being waged in a person’s heart. We must identify who our enemies are. So, take a long look inside yourself. Who are your enemies lurking behind the door? Maybe it is fear, or the broken relationships in your life. They are driving a wedge between you and the Lord, so that you cannot experience intimacy with Him, nor can He come near you to minister to your soul.