In Matthew Chapter 16 we see Jesus praise Peter in one moment: Jesus answered and said to him, 17 “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Then suddenly a few verses later (it’s likely that some time had elapsed) you see Peter exercising his “leadership” and counselling God: 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Sometimes we read this and see Jesus chastising Peter. Yet the more I meditate on both of these conversations, I see something more. Jesus is training Peter to learn to recognize the voice of the Father, in sharp contrast to the voice of the enemy. He was saying “Peter you just heard something…that wasn’t you, it was the voice of the Father. I will build my church upon the Rock of those who learn to hear my voice!” A sheep recognizes the voice of the Shepherd and the voice of another he will not follow.
The rebuke that follows is to point out to Peter that this was the voice of the enemy. It was so subtle because the serpent knows how to do a good imitation. We can even learn the secret to hearing and discerning the voice of the Father and become mindful of the things of God! Colossians 3 says it like this: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
The still small voice can be magnified when we set our mind on God and the things above. It is the beholding and becoming principle of 2 Corinthians3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Meditate upon His word, become more Christ-like and you will begin to recognize His voice clearer!