The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Darkness By Proxy"
"From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee. But He turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men" (Matthew 16:21-23).
Simon Peter, of course, was not Satan. Nor was he possessed by Satan. The Lord Jesus Christ nevertheless directly referred to His disciple in such terms when Peter suggested He should not suffer, die, and be resurrected. What inference can we draw from such a fascinating interchange?
"Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3).
We can all become the mouthpiece of our spiritual enemies, if we speak words unfaithful to God and His truth. Certainly, Peter spoke with good intentions and care for his Lord. He loved the Lord Jesus, and under normal circumstances would have been correct in seeking the welfare of one dear to him. Regarding the Savior and God's redeeming purposes for Him, however, the notion of avoiding the cross proceeded directly from the devil. The Lord Jesus thus spoke to Peter in a rebuke that sounds through the ages to us, warning that we can utter falsehoods not merely fleshly in origin, but devilish. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21).
Like Peter, this does not mean we are Satan, nor that we are possessed by him. It does mean, however, that we can be influenced by the devil to the extent we become his voice by proxy. Little wonder the Psalmist sought a "watch" for his mouth, and God's keeping for "the door of my lips." We all should pray with such awareness, including especially those called to communicate the Word of God in preaching, teaching, and writing. Indeed, if the devil exists, we might expect him to aggressively seek inroads to the pulpit, the Sunday school class, and the pen, transforming beacons of light into purveyors of darkness. The same is true for every believer as we seek to bear witness to others of the Lord Jesus along the pathways of life. We can disseminate darkness even when we have the best of intentions if we speak words that do not correlate to the "It is written" of Scripture.
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood" (Ephesians 6:12). Our enemy ever seeks, as allowed by God, to foment his falsehoods on the unsuspecting. As with Simon Peter, he sometimes finds a line of communication through even the most devout among us. I am sure you join with me in realizing the solemn implication of such a possibility. And just as surely, I do well to close this consideration so that we may all seek our Lord's leadership and enabling of our words, asking that they may shine forth with His light, and be guarded from serving as a proxy for our enemy's voice…
"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."
Weekly Memory Verse
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life."
(I John 5:13)