Who hasn’t had that phone call that ended in either one person hanging up or tempers flaring to the point that both of you said things that shouldn’t have been said? I feel we can all relate to this somehow. It may not have been a call. It could have been a conversation in a car ride. It could have been face to face. The whole situation could have been with a family member, a friend or even a total stranger in line at a department store. The one thing all of these circumstances have in common is this – discord! There obviously was one situation being viewed in two different ways. Perspectives are not the same with everyone. But people are not your enemy. They can be used as a tool or a mouthpiece of the enemy, but they are not your enemy. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12 NLT).
There’s a lot here to unpack so let’s do it! Let’s look at some of the enemies trying to sow discord amongst God’s people. Yes, they’re all from the devil himself but disguised as other things. Let’s take a look at, in my opinion, one we can all identify with. It is fear. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7 NKJV). This fear of “whatever” is not from God. He’s very clear about that in the above scripture. So the enemy tries to paralyze us with fears that distract us and keep us from pushing forward in the things of God. It brings frustration and causes us to shut down. Another enemy I think that’s worth mentioning is jealousy. Yes, we try to act happy for people when they get a major breakthrough or promotion. But in the back of our minds the enemy is whispering, “Why them and not you? You’ve certainly been praying about this for a long time.” So, at a moment of weakness, we’re caught off guard and become resentful of someone else’s blessing. This should not be! God’s no respecter of people. He’ll do for you what He did for them. It’s in His timing. Not ours. We just fell for a lie of the enemy.
We have to examine our very own motives. God deals with the heart of man and so should we. Starting with our own! For they loved human praise more than the praise of God (John 12:43 NLT). Why are you doing what you’re doing? Are you trying to bring glory to God or are you trying to impress people? This is a hard question but we have to examine it. God knows the answer anyway. John the Baptist’s disciples were having a hard time understanding people going to Jesus to be baptized. John had to explain that he, John, was not the Messiah. He was just preparing the way. So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”
He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less (John 3:26, 30 NLT). Wow! What powerful words. Jesus is supposed to become greater and we become less. This was no doubt a God fearing man that understood his role in God’s plan. He wasn’t trying to play the comparison game. He understood that everything belongs to God and we all have a part to play in His big plan.
The enemy also uses other tactics to hurt and divide the people God loves. He hurls accusations at us. He tries to get us to hold grudges against people and not forgive them even though we’ve all been forgiven by God. There’s anxiety disorders, stress, sickness and more tactics than I can even name. We have to be on guard towards these enemies. The Bible says, “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:11 NIV) We have to stay aware that we have a real enemy out there.
Let’s not lose heart in doing this. Jesus is already the Victor! The devil is defeated but he makes a habit of wreaking havoc. Don’t fall for his schemes. Decide before you collide that you’re going to take the high road in situations. God will promote you if you keep your eyes on Him. Don’t let Satan come between you and other people just because you may view things in life differently. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith (Galatians 6:9-10 NLT). We do have real enemies in this broken world, but they are not people. Fight the good fight!
Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband Robby and cat Harold.