Who Are Your People?

A few weeks ago, I was reading Matthew 16:21- 28, where Jesus predicts his own death. In verse twenty-one, “Jesus begins to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

Jesus knew what was before Him. He knew that pain and suffering, the sin of the WHOLE WORLD, and the cross were before Him.

But He was focused and fixated on the task before Him. Jesus was always fixated on the task. He was always stepping out to walk in obedience to what His Father asked of Him.

However, in verse twenty-two, Peter comes alongside Him and begins to question Jesus. He even goes so far as to rebuke the very plan of God. He says, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!”

And Jesus tells Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!” Peter was a stumbling block to the very will and plan of God. His eyes were focused and fixated on the world and earthly matters.

We laugh at Peter and the audacity he had to rebuke the very Son of God, to rebuke the will of God Himself. But I can’t say that I wouldn’t have been questioning the plan myself were I in Peter’s shoes. Peter had walked with Jesus. He was one of his twelve disciples.  He was close.

I can imagine in Peter’s mind that he’s wondering- there MUST be an easier way!? There must be a plan that does not involve suffering or pain or hardship or death. From the world’s point of view, Peter’s rebuke made total sense. Their King had come! Why die now? The throne was before Him.

Is suffering and hard and painful and difficult the REAL way of God? Surely, there must be an easier way?


God’s ways are not our ways.

God has laid before each of us a plan and purpose to accomplish His will and make much of Him in the nations. His plan leads to our good and His glory. And just as Jesus “had his people,” we also have our people. We have our people that speak into our lives. We have people that impact and influence us. Peter was trying to influence Jesus. He was trying to talk Him out of the very purpose for which He had come to Earth- to die for the sins of the world, to bring reconciliation to God and man, to rescue us!

And as Peter is speaking, Jesus says, “Get behind me, Satan!”

So.  Who are your people?

Who are the people in your life that are speaking to you and influencing you?

Are they pointing you to Jesus?

Are they encouraging and championing you towards the will of God? EVEN if it’s hard or challenging or difficult.

Do they have in mind the things of God OR do they have in mind the things of men?

What lies before you may not be easy. It may be hard. It may be very unnatural for you. It may involve pain and sacrifice. It may require A LOT of dying to self.

But. We must keep our eyes fixated on Jesus. That’s what He did. He kept His eyes fixated on His Father. We must do the same. Far be it from us to miss what He has for us or to walk away from the very thing for which we were created.

In 2018, I felt the Lord leading me to create more margin in my life. I felt a strong sense that I needed to get super intentional with my time and relationships. This does not come easy or natural for me. I am a “Yes Girl.” But the Lord, in His kindness and grace, has given me a husband that has no problem saying no. Doesn’t bother him one bit. {Help me, Jesus!} So, 2018 brought a lot more “Nos” for me. It was not easy for me. Sometimes, it was hard and painful. But through my person, my husband, I was able to do it. I was able to get more intentional with my time so that I could be more effective and focused on what God desired for me.

I also have three really, great girlfriends. They are mommas in the same season of life as me. And they love Jesus with all their hearts. They get the wild and crazy called Motherhood. But even in the midst of raising our babies, we still desire to use what’s in our hands for the glory of God- we want to raise our babies to know Jesus and love Him and serve Him. We also want to serve our church and the nations. These girls are so good for me. They challenge me. They spur me on. They push and encourage me.  They don’t just tell me what I want to hear, they tell me what I need to hear. When it’s hard, they don’t tell me to quit. They pray for me and fight for me. They understand what’s at stake. They won’t let me walk away from the will of God for my life.

I encourage you to take inventory of your relationships. Do you have people around you that are championing the cause of Christ in your life? Do you have people that tell you what you want to hear or what you NEED to hear? Are they spurring you on even in the midst of hard situations?

If not, ask Jesus to give you people that will not let you off the hook. Ask Him to bring people into your life that will encourage you in the things of God and challenge you to step out in faith. I promise, He’ll do it!