Monday, October 4

“God, what are You up to?” 

Scripture: Ezekiel 1-2, Matthew 16

Matthew 16:22–23 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”


Peter has just declared Jesus to be the Messiah.  But when Jesus explains that means He will suffer and die in Jerusalem, Peter took Him aside and rebuked Him, saying it will never happen to Him.  Imagine rebuking Jesus!

Jesus, who had just commended Peter, now calls him “Satan” or adversary, and a “stumbling block” or obstacle.  Jesus explains that Peter didn’t have God’s concerns in mind, only human concerns.  

From Peter’s human perspective, Jesus’ death made no sense.  It was just the opposite of what Peter thought the Messiah would do.  Peter didn’t understand what God was up to in Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Consequently, he couldn’t join God in what He was doing; he could only be an obstacle to God’s work.  


I struggle with the same problem, seeing things only from a human perspective (often my own selfish perspective), and not from God’s.  “What is God up to?” is the question I need to be asking more often.  

In the death and resurrection of Jesus, God was at work saving the world.  What is God up to in the midst of the darkness in our world today?  What is God doing in my life?  I want to discern that and join God in His work, and not be an obstacle because of my selfishness or blindness.

How can I know what God is doing?  First, by being grounded in Scripture, for I know that God is consistent and faithful and what He is doing now will reflect what He has done in Scripture.  Second, by being attentive in prayer and throughout the day, for I know that God is speaking.  Third, by being observant and curious, for I know that God is always working.  

Today, in each situation, I want to ask:

“God, what are You up to?”

Prayer: Lord, I want to work with You, not against You!  Show me what You are doing so I can join You. Help me to have Your concerns in mind, not just my own.