Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).
In a crucial moment when Jesus spoke about His impending death, Peter, one of the foremost disciples, took Jesus aside, objected and rebuked Him, saying, “…Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee” (Matthew 16:22). The Lord’s response was swift and clear. He turned to Peter and said, “…Get thee behind me, Satan…” (Matthew 16:23).
The Lord Jesus recognized that it was Satan speaking through Peter. But here’s something I’d like you to notice. In addressing Peter, Jesus didn’t look into the air as though the devil was somewhere around speaking through Peter. He knew where the devil was; he was right in Peter.
Now, here’s where a lot of people miss it. They say, “Can you imagine; Peter was once demon-possessed”; no! Peter was not demon-possessed, but the words he spoke were influenced by Satan. When people accept Satan’s words, they receive of him to themselves. This doesn’t imply that they’re now demon-possessed.
Demon possession occurs when an individual is completely overtaken by that spirit, in which case he can’t free himself, as he’s compelled to do only what that evil spirit dictates.
Another example similar to Peter’s case is seen where Satan moved David to number Israel, as recorded in the Old Testament (1 Chronicles 21, 2 Samuel 24). David, a righteous man, was unaware that he had been swayed by Satan’s prompting. Similarly, Peter too was unaware that Satan was operating through him.
O, how important it is to learn to follow the Holy Spirit in the Word, by the Word, and through the Word! It’s part of the reasons we pray and intercede for people, especially leaders, that they’ll always have the will, desire and boldness to do what is right, be led by the Holy Spirit, and never be in conflict with the Scriptures.
Therefore, in line with the Scriptures, always make intercessions and giving of thanks for all men, for kings, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Dear Father, I remain steadfast in the truth, aware of the tactics, wiles, manipulations, deceits, trickery and deceptions employed by the devil. I’m sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life, who causes me to walk in God’s perfect will and in the glory of God. Amen.
1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7; 1 Chronicles 21:1-2
1-year bible reading plan
Galatians 1:1-24; Ecclesiastes 9-12
2-year bible reading plan
Luke 22:63-71; 2 Samuel 3-4