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“But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ‘You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’’ ~ Mark 8:33

Jesus had just performed a miracle. Then he started talking openly about how he would be handed over, placed on trial, and then put to death on a cross.

Peter pulled him aside. “It doesn’t have to be this way. You’re the Son of God. There’s got to be another way where you can beat this.” Peter wasn’t thinking about the bigger picture – he was just thinking of a good Hollywood ending to Jesus’ story. Maybe Jesus would be down for a minute, but everything would turn out OK.

Not only did Jesus stop Peter, but he literally said “Get behind me, Satan.” In that moment, Peter had the best of intentions, but he wasn’t thinking in terms of God’s plan. He was thinking of his own plan. And if you’re against God, even if it’s for the best of reasons, you’re in league with the enemy.

After this episode with Peter, Jesus spoke to the whole crowd and said that we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus. The kingdom of God flies in the face of human plans. The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.

Next time you are tempted to find a shortcut or an easy way out of what is obviously God’s plan, think back to Peter. Remember that if you are thinking out of your own concern, you might as well be doing the devil’s business. Instead, push your own concern aside. Take up your cross, and follow Jesus. God’s ways never involve going around. They always involve going through. God’s plan for your life isn’t always the easiest way, but it’s the best way.

Make sure to always look for God’s way, and follow after that.

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