Self-Centeredness – Get Behind Me Satan!
Bible Reading for: October 21
Mark 8, Luke 9:18-27, Matthew 16
The greatest threat to a Christian maturing spiritually is self-centeredness. If you want to mature into Christ-likeness you must say “Get behind me Satan!”
Today’s reading provides many great lessons by Jesus. At one point, Jesus was preparing His disciples for His coming suffering and death. Peter told Jesus that He should not allow such a thing to happen. Remember that Peter understood who Jesus was – He was the Son of God, the Anointed of God. If Jesus had wanted to destroy all sinners, and all who stood in His way at the time of His earthly ministry, He had the power to do just that. You do understand that wiping out those who would kill you is a temptation for any human being don’t you? Peter was tempting Jesus to do His own will rather than the will of His Father. In response Jesus showed us how to deal with temptation.
Mark 8:31-33 ESV
“And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.'”
What was the problem with Peter’s way of thinking? His way of thinking reflected a focus on what he wanted rather than what God wanted. This in and of itself is sin, and frankly I fear it is the greatest problem facing the church today. We are to be focused on God not ourselves. Jesus makes this clear later on in today’s reading.
Luke 9:23-25 ESV
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”
What good is getting everything you want only to lose all that you need? Would you throw away a mountain of treasure for a pile of garbage? That is, in fact, what we are doing when we keep our minds focused on ourselves and our selfish desires rather than on God and His will. You’ve probably noticed that after every post I write “Dying to self, living to serve!” That theme was developed from the verse above. As we grow to spiritual adulthood, we must lose more and more of our self-centeredness, and gain more and more God-centeredness. It is hard. It is uncomfortable. We will fail often, but relentlessly the maturing Christian will become like Christ in that regard.
Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
Alternate Reading Plans
Bible Order: Luke 2-3
Old Testament Only: Isaiah 44–46
New Testament Only: Colossians 2:16–3:17