The Bible teaches that “there is a way that seems right to man (intuition), but the end leads to death” Proverbs 14:12. As leaders, we need to be cautious about following our own intuition over the wisdom and will of God. Following our intuition is dangerous because it leads us to make decisions based on what just feels right. Following your intuition won’t require you to make the tough sacrifice, restrain yourself, make any changes, or really do any additional work. Don’t be enticed by apparent shortcuts that “just feel right.” Many times there are severe consequences in following your own “gut” feelings.
The Apostle Peter demonstrates how easy it is for someone to jump to a decision that appears to be the right thing to do, but is actually in direct opposition to the perfect will of God. In Matthew 16:21-26, Peter, a devoted follower and friend, seeks to jump in and protect Jesus from the suffering and death He was teaching the disciples that lay in their future. He actually pulled Jesus aside and began to “rebuke Him.” Obviously, Peter didn’t grasp exactly who he was talking with.
Jesus fires back at Peter “Get behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Now, that’s a rebuke! In this moment Jesus shows us just how easy it is and how far our minds and thoughts can fall from God’s purpose. The reason why this can happen is because our thoughts are set on the mind of man and not the mind of God.
Of course, we would never be guilty of rebuking Jesus, right? What happens when we find out that the people we lead don’t want to follow us? “I know you called me to lead these people, but they don’t like me and I want to quit!” What happens when we encounter conflict? “Jesus, it would be so much easier if you would just remove this person from my life.” What happens when the course of leadership becomes filled with stress and we need to make tough decisions? “I never said that . . . It is NOT my fault. I deserve better.”
When we find out the work Christ calls us to do looks totally different than what we expected, we can either change our direction and follow Christ, or we can go our own way. If we choose to go our own way, we rebuke Him just like Peter did. He will always call us to follow His vision and His purpose so that we will grow and ultimately make a difference for His glory and His Kingdom.
Jesus calls us to follow Him, as His disciples. We are called to lay down our agenda, our desires, and our will. We are called to lay down our lives, take up our cross and follow Him wherever that leads. For most of the disciples and early Church, it meant dying a martyr’s death.