“Together we are a mighty force. Satan knows that. And by remaining united, we let him feel that.” Fervent p.171
We are in the home stretch friends, can you believe it?! Priscilla addresses the final strategy when she looks at how the enemy can and does attack our relationships with others. And more specifically, our relationships with other Christians.
If you have spent any time online recently you have likely seen Christians on both ends of the spectrum. Especially in a presidential race…everyone has an opinion about who is best, or worst. Labels are thrown around and division can happen quickly!
This is right where the enemy wants us to be.
This fictional quote (not a real C.S. Lewis quote) was shared all over FB, and while it wasn’t actually in Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, it is an interesting look at how the enemy may work in situations such as these.
Be sure that the patient remains completely fixated on politics. Arguments, political gossip, and obsessing on the faults of people they have never met serves as an excellent distraction from advancing in personal virtue, character, and the things the patient can control. Make sure to keep the patient in a constant state of angst, frustration, and general disdain towards the rest of the human race in order to avoid any kind of charity or inner peace from further developing. Ensure the patient continues to believe that the problem is “out there” in the “broken system” rather than recognizing there is a problem with himself. Keep up the good work. Uncle Screwtape
How easy it is to become divided from one another when we are focused on all the problems we believe are out there and refusing to see our part in it?!
We have been attending a wonderful church in a community close to ours since we moved to Minnesota. It can be hard to find a place to “belong” in a new town and it was so important for us to find a solid, biblical church. Even after the first week, we felt welcomed. It was a good fit.
But then something happened to me. I started focusing on what I thought everyone else was doing together. I began to feel that I (we) weren’t being included and the pity pot of “poor me” became by close companion. I thought “if only they’d invite us….this would finally feel like home.”
That became my focus week after week. But here’s the deal, I didn’t do anything about it either. I waited for the invitation, but never did the inviting myself. I craved community but didn’t want to do any work to cultivate it.
I felt jealous and I misjudged people. I made myself pretty unapproachable. I would come in, find a seat and not talk to anyone. I am an introvert by nature so some of it is who I am…but I made myself seem closed off when I put up my walls. And then I blamed others when I felt alone.
The enemy works on our insecurities.
I have long struggled to feel like I belong. And when I kept myself disengaged from community, expecting everyone else to just come to me…my feelings of rejection built. Rejection led to resentment and I have already shared what that can do in my heart!
Then one Sunday morning our pastor preached on community and something he said struck a chord with me. I had been waiting on others instead of looking for ways to offer the very community I was seeking to those around me.
Of course the enemy wants to see those in the church in disharmony! If he can cause a division, he wins. We must fight back with prayer!
Priscilla says this: “Prayer helps us stay focused on bigger things, on much more eternal things than the petty stuff that threatens to puff itself up beyond actual size and become some huge deal it doesn’t deserve to be. In prayer we experience the kind of hard-fought peace that unites us into an army of soldiers for Christ.” Fervent p.172
Are you feeling left out? Pray about it.
Are you struggling with the opinions of a fellow believer? Pray about it.
Seek God in all these areas, and with prayer we can ask for clarity. We can pray for direction and seek out our part in a specific matter. We can pray for courage to take some action that would foster positive change. We often don’t have the grace to handle these situations without God, so pray first. He will guide your steps!
1 Cor. 12:25 “…that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.”
1 John 3:18 “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
Lord, we know the enemy seeks to draw us away from one another. To disrupt our sense of community and belonging among believers. Lord guide us, especially in our interactions with other believers. Help us to remain united, to be a light with one another. Let there be no place for disharmony and may we choose to always be in prayer for our relationships with one another. In Jesus Name, Amen!