WHO IS THE REAL ENEMY?
We are not each other’s enemy. From the micro-level of two Christ-followers trying to get along, to the global followers of Christ, we are the only army that shoots its own wounded. Whether in two groups in a church, different factions inside a denomination, or even among different denominations, vilifying each other is wrong. Seeing each other as an enemy is sinful. Unity in the body of Christ is essential to stand against the real enemy, Satan.
Pastors and ministry leaders must lead the way in modeling this behavior for other Christ-followers to emulate. We must gain and maintain this mindset of “the real enemy.” Consider this Scripture:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV) Satan and his demons want to create strife and destroy relationships.
WHAT ARE WE CALLED TO DO?
We must be strong and fight back, lest our defenses are penetrated, and the enemy wins the battle of the moment for our mind. I call it “stinking thinking.”
The conclusion of this powerful passage in Ephesians ends with: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18 NIV) So, if we have an issue with someone, or some group, or some entity, let us pray, keeping in mind who is the real enemy.
Let’s be clear: Satan is the enemy; not each other. Let’s always keep an open mind and heart to those who see things differently than we do. May we, who have been called into vocational or bi-vocational ministry, set a good example for others, lest we too fall into sinful behavior dishonoring to Christ our Lord.
WHAT’S GOD’S WARNING?
We are clearly warned by God: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV) Having a sober mind requires us to control our negative self-talk and our thinking about others. Scripture guides our thinking: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9 NIV) Let us always give our brothers and sisters the benefit of the doubt and always remember the war that is raging in the spiritual realm, between Christ and Satan.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV) How could I possibly add anything to summarize this topic? Wow. Scripture says it all.
Your aspiring servant, Daniel M.
January 22, 2024
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily conversations with Christ.