Setting your mind on God’s interest

“…You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”(Matthew 16:23 NIV)

Peter and the disciples were at the peak of their earthly internship with Jesus. They had witnessed the blind see, the lame walk and the dead raised to life. Twice they had seen thousands miraculously fed from a few loaves and fishes. They heard Jesus’ riveting teaching and they watched Him as He dismantled the religious ruler’s arguments and reveal their wicked and conniving schemes.

What a three years it had been. Ordinary blue collar workers thrust into a three year ride with the Creator of the universe. They were changed forever. How could they ever go back to their secular occupations? You can only imagine the boldness and confidence the disciples were feeling. They thought with Jesus as their leader they were going to change the world.

Then everything changed. Jesus began to clearly and distinctly tell them that He must go to Jerusalem where He will be falsely accused by the religious leaders and be killed. Then Peter in all his passion and boldness declared, “God forbid, this will never happen to you.” But Jesus immediately rebuked him and said, “Get behind me Satan; you are a stumbling block to me.” Then Jesus revealed the real problem with Peter and the disciples when He said, “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (NIV)

What a revealing and riveting statement. It defined the real condition of not only Peter’s heart but also the disciple’s spiritual condition. They were thinking from a “flesh” perspective and missing the point of why Jesus came. They were loyal servants, committed followers and had a “in this to the end” mentality, but they were not being led by the Holy Spirit.

They were missing the very heart of God. How is it that you can live with Jesus 24/7 for three years, and participate in the ministry as a co-worker and miss the heart of God? How did they miss that Jesus came to redeem a fallen race?

It’s really not hard to understand how they missed the point when we observe our own lives. I believe the statement; “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” is an accurate picture of the typical Christian life. We may be loyal followers, regular givers, Bible readers and even have a large collection of Christian music, but we are missing the heart of God.

The heart of God can only be discerned by living in daily and deliberate submission to the Holy Spirit. The moment we became a follower and believer of Jesus the Holy Spirit took up residence in our life. He is our teacher, our guide, and our revealer of the heart of God. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is being acutely aware of His presence and being keenly sensitive to those areas of our life that offend Him.

Dr. R.T. Kendal, writing about the Holy Spirit, suggested that we often forget that the Holy Spirit is a sensitive person and that we could even say, in a reverent way, that He is even hypersensitive.

The Word of God is to take supreme precedent in our life. We are to read it, memorize and heed its instruction and warnings. But the power to understand, to heed and apply the Word is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is indeed a supernatural book, but it becomes just another book without the Holy Spirit’s personal and direct revelation to us. In other words, without the daily, conscious leadership of the Holy Spirit, practically speaking, we become just another religious person, living out of our own strength.

What’s my point? We must stop and examine our life and determine that we are not going to live our life like those pre-resurrection disciples and miss “God’s interest.” We must put every activity, interest and conversation under the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit.

Are you grieving the Spirit by your sharp tongue and your unkind words? Does your impatience quench the Spirit of God when waiting in line at the grocery store? Are we grieving the Spirit by sulking and pouting when we don’t get our way? Do we grieve and quench the Holy Spirit by having an argumentative spirit? Are we too proud to say “I am sorry, forgive me?” Are you grieving the Holy Spirit by holding a grudge?

God desires for us to be a conduit of His love and power but that can only occur if we become sensitive to offending and grieving the Holy Spirit that is within us. Is the Holy Spirit within you grieved or ungrieved? God’s intention for us is to be about “God’s interest” by living a life controlled and filled with the Holy Spirit.

May I challenge you to arise every morning and ask Holy Spirit to make you hypersensitive to those things that offend and grieve Him? And would you ask Him to fill you with His presence and power that you might have “His interest” in you today? You never can tell who is watching you and who God might bring across you path. Be ready for a spiritual encounter by being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s voice.

“Show me your ways Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. “(Psalm 25:4-5)