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Updated: Dec 21, 2020

In war there is no substitute for victory. (Douglas MacArthur)

What Mike Murdock said is true, “The only real warfare is whether or not you are focusing on God. The more you look at Him, the less you will want to look at anything else.” One of the greatest events in the life of Simon Peter, one of the twelve Disciples of Christ, occurred as he traveled to Caesarea Philippi with Jesus. The Lord asked His followers, "Who do people say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living." Jesus replied, “You are blessed … because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” God had spoken to Peter, giving him a great revelation concerning Christ’s identity. And because of Peter’s revelation and dedication the Lord promised to bless him greatly.

After that Jesus began to teach the disciples that he would be tortured, killed, buried and resurrected in Jerusalem. Peter rebuked Christ (Matthew 16:22 NIV), "Never Lord! This shall not happen to You!” He tried to control Christ who cannot and will not be manipulated or forced into doing our will—we must allow Him to do His will in us. "Out of my sight, Satan!"Jesus exclaimed. What a horrible rebuke that followed on the heels of a great blessing. Peter had compromised his faith and allowed the Prince of Darkness to influence his thinking.

It’s not the things that strike us from without, but the things we encounter within our lives that hinders us most. Peter harbored an inward passion for position and power—Christ’s death threatened his status and place of importance in God’s Kingdom on earth. Lest we follow in the footsteps of Peter let us take to heart the words of Epictetus, “Control your passions or else they will take vengeance on you.” An uncontrolled craving for power endangers your spiritual wellbeing and faith in the Lord.

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