1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober and watchful, because your adversary the devil walks around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”.
There are a number of ways he accomplishes this. I will just share a few of them since I have seen this and have lived through these kinds of divisions at my church. Not just recently and not just my church, but it can happen at any and all churches that are sharing the gospel with others.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I would like to inform you that Satan loves to destroy anything and anyone that belongs to God. Satan loves to destroy the work of God’s church and he loves to destroy those who love the Church and God.
Ephesians 6:10-18 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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.. read more…
Below I have listed a few schemes that Satan has been keeping busy with.
Conflicts Within the Church
Church conflict isn’t new because Satan has been in the business of destroying the lives of Christians since the beginning of time. Personally, I think his favorite place to be is at church. If Christians say that isn’t true, then they haven’t been reading the Bible and they have blinders on. Over the past year or so, he has been the instigator of arguments within the church, disagreements and trivial things such as the kind of music sang, color of the carpet and how something is worded or not worded. Satan is excited when fellow Christian and church members get upset and they storm out the door and never return. As each person leaves, that’s a check-mark or a win for Satan.
Satan Loves Lies lies and More Lies
Satan loves it when lies or half-truths are said at church. A friend of mine that I use to go to church with told me that they were no longer going to any church anymore because people at church lies. One of our previous pastors was doing a sermon and worded something in a way that she thought was a lie. She didn’t like the version of the Bible that he was preaching from. Which he used the same version I do, so I kind of took that personal. She was also upset that the pastor read a particular verse from the sermon. She said that he had no right to share “that part” of the Bible, lol. I’m sure I gave her a stupid look. I told her that all of the Bible should be shared, not just the ones she likes. I think the sermon was on submission.
I told her that if she only wanted to hear certain parts of the Bible and not the whole Bible, then she needs to examine her relationship with Christ. I then told her that not all people at church are Christians. When I told her that even Satan is present at church and believes in Christ. She got upset since she thought I was calling her evil. I explained to her that wasn’t the case, but just going to church isn’t going to save you. It has been about 8 yrs since I last talked to her.
Matthew 4:10 NIV“Jesus said to him, Away from me, Satan! For it is written…”.
Gossiping About Others
Proverbs 20:19 A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.
Oh boy, this is one of those things I have been guilty of and learned my lesson the hard way. Satan loves to stir the pot of dissension. It’s nothing to him to whisper something into another persons ear and then chaos erupts. When one person shares something to another, things spread rapidly. For example, there is a family member that loves gossip and within minutes what was shared has taken on a life of its on. As each person is told snip-its, the original version usually grows much larger that it really is and Satan loves it.
One of the churches I use to go to was practically destroyed because people were hearing just parts of a conversation. It was heartbreaking when one family left the church because they thought something was said that wasn’t. It was one of those things that started off innocent and snowballed to the point where they left. Not only did they leave, they caused a great deal of stress for the pastors family. They were good friends prior to what was supposedly said. Instead of asking the pastor, they believed the lies. I don’t know if things worked out for them. As of a couple of years ago, the family never went back to church and had a strong hate for the pastors family, all over a misunderstanding. The misunderstanding was based on a total fabrication about a discussion over how much was being paid for a book. I guess Satan was happy over that.
I brought up the conflicts, gossiping and lying in the church because it is important for us to have the Full Armour of God in order to protect ourselves. When we allow things to tear us down, Satan wins and I am a very bad sore loser.
Volunteers and Pastors
A couple of my blogs I touched on how volunteers are church and pastors are getting burned out. The pastor at my church does everything office wise, sermons, visiting the sick and so on. He is a full-time pastor and friend. I have never heard Pastor Ray complain about what he does and I honestly think he enjoys what he is doing. I can also tell that he is tired and Satan has been attacking him lately. His wife and my friend has been fighting for her life for some time. Satan has been taking advantage of how full his plate is. My church has wonderful people and there are many that do a lot for the church. They don’t want to be called out, they silently do what they do without any fan fare. Which is what we should be doing.
When I do things for the church, there are just a few people who knows and sometimes it is between God and myself. But, every now and then, someone will make it a point to tell everyone how great they are and how much they give. If they don’t get the praise they think they should be getting, then they get butt hurt and have no problem telling others about how great they are or how misunderstood they are. Things turn ugly really fast and Satan loves it when he is winning the battle of dissension, discouragement and ultimately leaving church and involving others.
Matthew 6:1-4 (NIV) 6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. Read More
I mention how Satan is working within the churches and in the world because we need to put on our Full Armour of God in order to defeat him. We already know that God wins in the end. We shouldn’t back down from Satan. Satan is dangerous and he is in churches and he is everywhere. If we are Christians, we can expect him to be present anywhere God is. I personally feel that we must be strong in our faith and don’t back down. We must use God’s Word as a weapon. Satan fears those who hold onto God’s Word and when we use it.
Never underestimate what Satan will do and can do. Satan is always trying to discourage us and I’m not into this whole notion of just backing away. I have gotten myself in a lot of trouble because I just keep going like the energizer bunny lol. As Christians we need to stand and fight. Satan is a liar and he is the king of lies. I have no problem calling him out. But, I know that in order to fight I have to put the Full Armour of God on, even at church. Always go to God’s Word when we are having difficulties or we are in need or strength.
Hebrews 10:23 “So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word”.
What is the Armour of God and how do we clothe ourselves in it? I will break it down piece by piece.
- Belt of truth – The truth of God’s Word is the first defense in combating the lies of the enemy.
- Breastplate of Righteousness – Righteousness and character are the means to justice and victory..
- Shod Feet – The armor of God also includes having our “feet fitted” with the “gospel of Peace”.
- Shield of Faith – Any unyielding faith in God’s sovereignty and goodness “can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”
- Helmet of Salvation – The helmet of salvation is a symbol of protection and victory. Our greatest victory is the gift of salvation we have been given through Christ’s sacrifice
- The sword of the Spirit – The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. When we read our Bibles and memorize scripture, we are armed with arrows of truth to combat the enemy. There are many other weapons that are defensive, but the Word is offensive-it chases the enemy, driving him back.”
Matthew 4:10 “Away from me, Satan!” Jesus declared. “For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'”
In Closing I want to leave you with this message from Paul in Ephesians 6:10. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” There is no reason for us to be discouraged by Satan and the tools and power he has. We aren’t in this battle alone. We have the greatest tools and power in the world and the universe.