Summary: Sometimes God’s plan for us is different than our plan. How we respond makes all of the difference.
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. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 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.
There was an officer in the navy who had always dreamed of commanding a battleship. He finally achieved that dream and was given commission of the newest and proudest ship in the fleet. One stormy night, as the ship plowed through the seas, the captain was on duty on the bridge when off to the port side he spotted a strange light rapidly closing with his own vessel. Immediately he ordered the signalman to flash the message to the unidentified craft, ’Alter your course ten degrees to the south.’ Only a moment had passed before the reply came: ’Alter your course ten degrees to the north.’ Determined that his ship would take a backseat to no other, the captain snapped out the order to be sent: ’Alter course ten degrees--I am the CAPTAIN!’ The response beamed back, ’Alter your course ten degrees--I am Seaman Third Class Jones.’ Now infuriated, the captain grabbed the signal light with his own hands and fired off: ’Alter course, I am a battleship.’ The reply came back. ’Alter your course, I am a lighthouse.’
No matter how big or important any of us think we are, and no matter how right we think our plans are, God’s Word stands forth as an unchanging beacon. All other courses must be altered to match His.
Are you like the captain in that story? Have you ever said something, and it turn out to be the wrong thing to say? And then you find yourself wishing there were some way to retract those words, and undo what you have done? Have you ever made plans, and then those plans turn out to be the wrong thing to do? Have you ever overstepped your bounds and took a wrong course of action?
If that is something you have done, then what one thing did you need most at that time? Did you need someone to give you a rebuke? Did you need someone to warn you out of love before you made a mistake? And, let’s just say there was someone there to do that very thing. Now, what would the right response be?
We all know what the right thing to do would be. Even though we don’t like it, the right thing would be to try and set right the wrong. The right thing would be to abandon your plan or your action for the right plan and action.
It’s one thing to make a mistake, even a big mistake. That’s just a really nice way of saying it’s one thing to sin, even to commit a big sin, but it’s just a whole new level of bad when we refuse to heed the confrontation that God brings across our path in an attempt to get us to change course.
Friends, here’s the truth. All of us mess up. We all say things we shouldn’t say, and we all do things we shouldn’t do. The real test is how do we respond when God brings us face to face with our mistakes, and tells us to change our direction?
In our text, we see an example of Peter’s plan being different than the plan of Jesus. That’s nothing unusual. Often our plans fail to line up with God’s plans. But, because of this very principle, we see a certain response from Peter. There are three things that you need to see this morning, and I would encourage you to take notes as this can be used throughout your entire life. There are three things, plus some application principles that you need to know, as we look at the message entitled, “But That’s Not How I Had It Planned; How to respond when God’s plan doesn’t match your own.”
The first thing you need to see this morning is; you need to expect that God’s plans can be different from your plans. Expect that God’s plans can be different than your plans.
You know what part of Peter’s problem was? The biggest part of Peter’s problem was that he expected God’s plan to always make sense. Peter thought that God’s plan should always be what he was thinking. It is because of that, Peter was not emotionally prepared to respond to what Jesus said.