In Mark 8:27-33, Peter, one the disciples, confesses that Jesus is the Christ (which means “the anointed one of God”), the long-awaited Messiah, or King of the Jews. He has seen Jesus cast out demons, physically heal, and miraculously feed thousands upon thousands of people. But when Jesus plainly tells Peter and the rest of the disciples that he must suffer many things, be rejected by the religious leaders and be killed, and after three days rise again, Peter quickly goes from reverence to reprimand. Peter takes Jesus aside and begins to rebuke him. Then Jesus, after turning around and looking at the other disciples, rebukes Peter, saying “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Peter deeply loves Jesus and has put his faith in him, so why would Jesus call him him that? Although the harsh criticism came out of Peter’s mouth, Peter is only the conduit — not the source — of the rebuke. Ephesians 6:12 states, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. People (“flesh and blood”) are never the actual source of negative Opposition — instead they are the conduits through which the rulers, authorities, cosmic powers and spiritual forces of evil speak. Just like God speaks through people to encourage, the devil speaks through people to tear down. The devil is your enemy and his only goal is to bring destruction. The next time someone unleashes a verbal attack, look past their face and start digging — Satan, the Destroyer, is always at the root.
In Daniel, chapter 6, a multitude of men approached King Darius with a plan: anyone caught in the next 30 days praying to any man or god, accept to King Darius, should be thrown into the lion’s den. King Darius liked what he heard and signed the decree. But once the law was activated, Daniel, whom King Darius cherished, was caught praying to God. This caused great distress to the king, and the king tried to revoke his own law. When his efforts failed, and after he ordered Daniel to be thrown into the lion’s den, King Darius went back to his palace and spent the night fasting, no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. Worldly, unwise counsel will result in anxious thoughts and sleepless nights. So the next time you need direction, find someone who will shine God’s word into your life. Don’t settle for just any counsel – seek Wise Counsel. Talk is cheap, but wisdom is priceless. Wisdom is the GPS system your soul needs to stay on track with God.