“God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” Matthew 16:22
Forbid – Confronting the brutal facts! One of the five key elements in companies that transverse the hurdle from good to great is an unfiltered reality check. Here we see Peter fail the test. Jesus knew the brutal facts of his mission. Peter let his preconceived dreams interfere with the truth. What happens for companies can happen for individuals. Unless we see reality from God’s perspective, we are blind guides leading the blind.
“Forbid it” is really the literal Greek words “mercy to you” (Eleos soi). The phrase is a powerful invocation that God will intervene and change destiny. The thought could easily be rendered, “Heavens, no!” or “That’ll never happen”. Peter hears Jesus speaking about the need for the cross and says, “No way, man. God will never let that happen to you.”
Be careful of those who want God to change your direction. If you know where God wants to you go, be prepared for the “helpers” who see an easier way. Jesus was right. Satan was speaking in the mouth of Peter. He may be speaking in the mouth of your advisor or friend too. Don’t forget that just a brief time before this, Peter openly declared Jesus to be the Son of God. The same man who gave such powerful testimony to the truth is now suggesting that God’s way must be wrong.
Why does Peter react so strongly? The reason is found in the word “mercy”. Peter thought that if God really loved His son, He would never ask such a terrible obedience from him. Peter confused favor with mission. Only Jesus’ resolute conviction of God’s purpose kept the true path in view. It will be the same for all His disciples. The day will come when someone close suggests that the brutal facts of God’s call on your life are not the truth. That day you will be tempted to see an easier way, to count on a self-made dream. That day you will have to know for certain what God wants from you, and put aside every other view.
Do you want to transition from good to great? Never ignore the truth, even when it points toward a path of suffering. Great business and great lives depend on great vision – and on complete reliance on God’s view of reality.