We may be doing Satan's work!
(J.R. Miller, "Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ" 1890)
"Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him: Oh no, Lord! This will never happen to You! But He turned and told Peter: Get behind Me, Satan!" Matthew 16:22-23
It was Peter's love for Christ which made him so rebel at the thought of such a dire fate for Him. In his love — he sought to hold the Master back from so throwing away His life. But in doing this, he was acting the part of Satan in seeking to tempt Jesus away from His great work of atonement. This way of the cross was not an accident; it was the way marked out for Christ; to swerve from it, would be to fail in His mission.
Our best friends may become our tempters in the same way. In their love for us — they may seek to keep us from entering paths of duty which will lead us to great sacrifice. Mothers may seek to restrain their children from going to foreign mission fields. Any of us, in the warmth of our affection for our friends, may seek to dissuade them from perilous or costly service — which it may be their duty to undertake. We need to guard ourselves at this point.
The path of true success does not always lie along the sunny hillside! Sometimes it goes down into the dark valley of self-sacrifice! And if we try to hinder any from entering upon hard duties, urging them to choose easier ways — we may be doing Satan's work! We may be plucking the crown from the brow of our friend — by holding back his feet from the way of the cross.
We all need to guard, too, against the counsels of friends who would restrain us from costly or perilous service. In matters of duty — we must know only one guide, and follow the call of only one voice.
We are not put in this world to have a pleasant and easy time! We are not put here to consult our own inclinations at all. We are here — to go where Christ leads; to follow Him to sacrifice and to death — if He leads us in these paths. We dare not allow ourselves to be turned aside by any tenderness of human love. It is the way of duty, however hard, that takes us home to Heavenly glory!