“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Now when Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, Who do people say that the Son of Man is? 14 And they answered, Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. 15 He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am? 16 Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros–a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra–a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it]. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven. 20 Then He sternly and strictly charged and warned the disciples to tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. 21 From that time forth Jesus began [clearly] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders and the high priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised from death. 22 Then Peter took Him aside to speak to Him privately and began to reprove and charge Him sharply, saying, God forbid, Lord! This must never happen to You! 23 But Jesus turned away from Peter and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way [an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me]; for you are minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men. Matthew 16:13-23 AMP
Jesus was Who He was – the Son of God, born to die as a sacrifice for the sins of every man – and He could not and would not deny it. He could not deny that He was the Son of God just because some people were offended by it, but He did not go around announcing it either. Privately, He asked His disciples who they thought He was and Peter, always quick to speak and reveal what was on his mind, replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus acknowledged Peter’s answer with a blessing – he was blessed because he had heard from heaven. No person showed him that Jesus was the Christ – it was revealed to him by the Father Himself. Every one of us must receive revelation and direction from heaven concerning the things of God. You cannot just listen to what other people have to say and blindly follow them – they might be very wrong. When the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the ditch (Matthew 15:14). Read God’s word for yourself and let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you. Judge every situation according to your own born-again spirit and not your head.
Romans 8:6-7 AMP says, “Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. 7[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.” Your carnal mind – the mind of the flesh – tries to reason and make sense of things without the Holy Spirit and fails hopelessly. If you follow your carnal mind it will result in death – spiritual death, premature physical death, and finally, eternal death. This is because the mind of the flesh cannot and does not submit itself to God’s Law. On the other hand, the mind that is yielded to the Holy Spirit results in life and peace, now and forever.
Do you know that it is possible to yield to the Holy Spirit one minute and then to the devil the next? Peter found out the hard way. Jesus knew very clearly what His purpose was and even how He would suffer and die. When He shared it with the disciples, Peter pulled Him aside and rebuked Him. Peter did not want Jesus to die and Jesus, in Himself, did not want to die a painful death either, but He had committed Himself to the will of the Father. When Peter rebuked Him, he was not speaking the will of God over Jesus’ life. It was a voice from hell trying to talk Jesus out of His mission. So Jesus turned away from Peter and addressed the devil. He said, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way; for you are minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men.”
Be very careful that you do not yield yourself to the devil, to be used by him. The devil is always going to try to speak to you and drop little thoughts into your head that are contrary to the will and the word of God. Do not receive these thoughts and suggestions and definitely do not speak them out and do them! Be yielded only to the Holy Spirit. Do and say only what He says to you. How do you know the difference? You must spend time reading and absorbing the word of God, spend time praying in the Holy Ghost, and spend time in God’s presence in worship. Lay aside your preconceived ideas, let your mind become still and listen to your own spirit – that is where the Holy Spirit will speak to you – and then you will be more yielded to the Lord and not the devil in your thoughts, speech and actions and your life will bring glory to God.