Just a short time before Jesus spoke the words above, Jesus had told Peter that he was a blessed man and that He was going to give him the keys to heaven. In just a few verses, Peter went from being called blessed by Jesus to being called the name of his worst enemy! It must have been quite a blow to Peter. What caused the sudden change? Fortunately, Jesus gives us the answer…Peter was not setting his mind on the things of God!
The concept of setting our minds on something is contained in the word “mindset”. It refers to a frame of reference, a way of orienting our thinking. Essentially, it is our point of view, how we look at and evaluate what is going on around us.
This episode teaches us that it was extremely easy for Peter to go from recognizing that Jesus was the Messiah, a heavenly mindset, to trying to stop Jesus from His mission, an earthly mindset. We don’t know the exact time frame between the two events, but it could have been as little as a few hours. If Peter, one of Jesus’ closest companions can make that mistake, then certainly we are at risk of it ourselves. We can start our day with a mind fully set on Christ, and by noon be completely overcome by an earthly mindset.
To avoid this requires the regular adjustment of our mindset. I’ve always been struck by the fact that Daniel, one of the truly Godly people in the Old Testament, made it a regular practice to pray to God several times a day.
We don’t have to leave our place of work like Daniel did. We only need to take a few minutes at several points in the day to quickly recalibrate our mindset. It can be a short break in the office, or while we are walking from one section of the hospital to another. All that’s necessary is a few words of prayer that remind us of His presence with us.
Prayer: Lord, in the midst of my busy day, remind me of your presence and work in my life.