June 1, 2013 the Lord gave me this
Dual Natures Within us
Published By Deborah Negron
Jesus talking with his disciples …
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew 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.
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
What a contrast is found in this text.
First Jesus tells the disciples earlier in the passage to beware of the Pharisees and the Saduccees… their’s was a false doctrine. They taxed the people with rituals and practices that they themselves did not live up to.
Jesus warned his disciples to seek after the things of God and not man’s acclaim.
Then he causes his disciples, his friends, the ones he had been with and had see the miracles and the healings, to stop and to ponder. He caused them to reflect on who they believed he was?
First he says Whom do people say I am? Then he goes deeper and causes them to respond in a personal way. Whom do you say I am?
What do you think of me? What do you know of me? How do you describe me in your life? Who am I to you?
The question is one he repeats to every so called disciple, to every believer. Whom do we believe Jesus to be?
The interesting part of this passage is how clear the dual nature of humanity is manifested here. Peter responds at first with a clear knowledge of who Jesus was. He says to him,
You are the CHRIST, the Son of the LIVING GOD.
Peter said it clearly. He stated a statement that would define the nextt statements and information Jesus gave his disciples. He answered and even Jesus said to Peter, Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you but my Father in heaven. Wow, what an aknowledgement that Peter was walking right. What an affirmation of his faith!
Then we look at the next statements, as Jesus tells them in profecy what they would witness and go through suffering and how he would be killed and then raised on the third day.
All of a sudden we see the other side of Peter’s coin. We see the part that shows fear, anger, distress and a sense of hopelessness. We hear his words echo clearly, Be this far from you!
In other words, No way! This can never be!
I don’t feel this is right. I don’t like where this conversation is going. I pray you are wrong!
Then of course the rebuke from Jesus comes,
” Get thee behind me satan”.
This is to say you are in the flesh Peter. You are focused on the earthly things, on the temporal things. You need to get your head out of this place and into the reason why we are here and why I came to earth. You need to begin to think on the Eternal! Think on the everlasting. Think on a glorious future… on the souls that will be saved. Think on the hope of heaven.
We like comfort. We like feeling secure and safe. We feel good when no one is rocking the boat.
We can accept truth and love so long as it is in the comfort zone. But don’t let anyone shatter our temporal expectations. Don’t allow anything to be thrown our way. We like Peter fall apart.
The enemy can use our emotions and our anxiety to bring us turmoil and stress us out.
The problems we fsce in this life are part off the fallen nature of mankind. Illness, disease, loss, rejection, pain and suffering are all part of the equation.
We would rather have the child without childbirth pains. We would rather earn the grade without the studying. We would rather have the blessing than the time of testing.
All of us fall short. We want comfort. Why not!
Struggles are not easy. They may bring us to breaking points.
Peter had his breaking point. He said this can’t. Happen…be this far from you.
But the cross was the necessary path Jesus had to take in order to reach the greater end. The reward of redemption for every believer would not have come inless Jesus had gone to the cross. The resurrection power would not have been manifested unless the shedding of blood had occured.
The baby would not have come unless the nine months and the labor pains were present. The degree would not have been awarded lest the time of concentration and dedication to lerning had been spent. The job would not have aid us unless we would have completed our work.
Our dual nature is always in contradiction. The flesh does not always want to pray, and read the word and study. It wants leisure, fun, the easy street. The runner cannot run a good race unless he is preopared. Jesus was preparing his disciples. He was telling them of what was ahead. But the flesh is self seeking. It wants to be told good things. The happily ever after stories are the ones we crave. But the reality check is hard.
The diabetic is told a diet change is needed. Exercise is crucial. No one wants to hear that. The cancer patient is told to put their affairs in order because the end is near. No one wants to face this. Do we want to be lies to? A song I heard a long tine ago had a line…
” Tell me lies tell me sweet little lies…”
When we walk in the truth we want to know how to prepare ourselves. Ephesians 6 tells us we need to put on th whole armor og God. This must mean we are to be in readiness for battle. Jesus said in this word we would have tribulation… but take heed I have overcome the world. In other words we can do this! We can be more than conquerors. We can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. Philipians says. We are to be in this world but not of it. We have a dual nature that pulls at us but we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. We will have our needs met. He will nevr leave us nor forssake us. But we are to live in the Spirit. The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5; ”
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
We need to be continually warring against the nature within us that wants the comfort zone. This is the part within us that says, ” No, I don’t want to face this question. No, I want to coast into heaven. No, why does serving God have to be so hard? No, I want to have faith without responsability.”
We need to be called to holiness, for in it we becmemore like our Lord. Trials bring us opportunities to grow our faith. They allow us to stretch the muscle of our beliefs. They cause us to consider moving on and moving forward not staying still.
Jesus had told the disciples when he had risen again from the dead, to gointo all the world and preach the gospel. The disciples had remained in their comfort zone. They remained in Jerusalem.
The God allowed persecution to come. That is the very thing that moved them to spread the gospel. Had persecution not come, they might have stayed there.
We are also asked to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Whatever the difficulty and the trials we may face we need to examine ourselves. Are we seeking God’s will or our comfort? Are we supposed to trust God in the situation or avaiod it. Peter tried to avaoid the hard topic. Jesus rebuked him. The same man who had just proclaimed Jesus as being the very Son of the Living God, was then saying that he did not want Jesus to suffer or go to the cross.
Are we living in the Spirit? Scripture tells us that as we seek The Lord we can make our petitions known to him and he will supply for us our needs. Yet we are to be continually in a state of trusting and believing and expecting to be facing moments of trail and trouble.
As long as we have God on our side we do not need to fear.
Be dressed today in the strong armor of God. Be clothed in truth. No matter what may come our way the victory is already our in Christ Jesus. Our duality does not have to cause us to fall, though it may cause us to have to refocus and trust the Lord. His ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
And in Jeremiah 29:11 he tells us that he has plans for our lives to give us a hope and a future. Surrender your dubts and fears. Submit to him and he will keep your mind in perfect peace in the midst of life’s storms.