Stumbling blocks. You don’t wish to be one. And also you don’t want them in your life, either. But what do you do when the stumbling block comes from someone you like dearly, or from someone with whom you know you are called to labor in God’s Kingdom?
As a way to avoid stumbling blocks, we have to acknowledge them once they arise alongside the slim path. At the most simple level, a stumbling block is an impediment to our progress within the Lord; it’s something that gets in between us and God’s perfect plan for our lives; it’s anything that leads us into temptation. It’s a snare. Strong’s Concordance defines a stumbling block as “any particular person or thing by which one is (entrapped) drawn into error or sin.”
The phrase “stumbling block” is used 14 occasions in varied translations of the Bible. I am going to concentrate on just one in this exhortation—one that came straight from the lips of the Anointed One to my spirit. It’s an instance that shows how even these closest to us—even these called to walk with us and do great things for the Lord alongside us—can at times present a stumbling block in our path. Learn how to we deal with loved ones who present obstacles in a spirit grace, mercy and love without falling into the trap?
Jesus called Peter a stumbling block after he rebuked the Lord for confessing that He should go to Jerusalem and endure many things by the hands of the elders, the chief priest and the teachers of the legislation, and that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter insisted that such a thing would by no means happen to Jesus. Selfishness was on the root of Peter’s words. Let’s listen in to how Jesus responded:
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you should not have in mind the issues of God, but merely human concerns’” (Matthew sixteen:23, NIV). Peter was more involved about himself than the plan of God, and due to this fact presented a stumbling block.
Imagine if Jesus had entertained Peter’s words … “You know, Peter, you’re right. That shouldn’t happen to me. That’s not really fair. I have by no means sinned. Why ought to I die for the sin of the world? Maybe I will call on the angels to deliver me. Humankind can cope with its own problems!” Thank God that Jesus did not fall into the snare.
Here’s the point: How typically do not be a stumbling block these around us—even these with the most effective intentions—speak the opposite of God’s will into our lives? How often do they discourage us from following our God-given desires because of their unbelief? How often do they get us stirred up when persecution comes and tempts us to retaliate or merely defend ourselves when God wants to vindicate us in His time?
Jesus was fast to discern the hindrances alongside the path to His future—a destiny that would take away the sin of the world—and He was fast to confront and press by means of them. That’s because He had in mind the considerations of God, not merely human issues—not even His own concerns. Jesus’ mantra: Not my will, but yours be finished even when it kills me. Jesus was quick to discern and deal with the stumbling block, however that didn’t mean that Jesus instantly solid the one who put the stumbling block in His path along the roadside. Jesus used wisdom. He knew Peter was an integral part in God’s plan to build the early church.
No, Jesus didn’t cast Peter aside. However Jesus didn’t allow Peter’s hindering words to live in His coronary heart, either. Jesus instead taught Peter the appropriate strategy to respond: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and comply with me. For whoever desires to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matt. sixteen:24-25). Jesus didn’t exclude Peter from His inner circle and even sit him down for a season. In His mercy and style, He helped Peter get his focus back on the considerations of God reasonably than merely human concerns.
Certainly, six days later, the Bible says, Jesus took Peter, James and John to a high mountain where they witnessed His configuration (Matt.17:1-11). What a privelege! Then came Peter’s test. Jesus predicted His demise a second time: “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the arms of men. They’ll kill him, and on the third day he will probably be raised to life” (Matt. 17:22-23). Although the disciples have been stuffed with grief, Peter did not stand in opposition to the need of God. He didn’t current a stumbling block.