We live in a culture that is defined by division. You’re either with a group or against them; and if you try to love somebody while not agreeing with some of their decisions or beliefs, then people decide that you harbor hate towards that person regardless of how you try to love them. It’s very easy to get caught up in an argument of who’s right and who’s wrong even, and perhaps especially in the Christian community. However, God’s been reminding me recently to remember who the enemy is. You see, Paul was reminding the Ephesians that we are not each other’s enemies. The person you disagree with isn’t your enemy. The person who has different religious or political beliefs from you is not your enemy. First Peter 5:8 warns us that Satan is the enemy and he is seeking to destroy us so we need to keep a sharp eye and pay attention.
Since being at JAARS I’ve been told that the number one reason people leave the mission field is because of conflict with other missionaries; and that makes me sad. It makes me sad because I am not immune of conflict with others, and it makes me sad because we are supposed to be representing Christ to unbelievers. We’re supposed to be on the same team, but we’re acting like we’re enemies and this happens all the time in Christian churches or organizations. It makes me sad because of all the times that I’ve let Satan win those battles.
So when you find yourself in a battle in the days ahead, remember that the person in front of you is not the enemy. It doesn’t matter what the battle looks like. You could find yourself overseas literally fighting in a war. You could find yourself at church or work fighting over logistics of how to run a program and who should be in charge. You may even find yourself in front of a mirror feeling like you’re at war with yourself. Don’t let Satan trick you; he is the master of disguise. He’s camouflaged himself in our world and he is waiting for you to give in to his tricks so that he can tear the body of Christ apart piece by piece. Thankfully, God gives us the strength to resist him, and he helps us to identify Satan if we watch carefully.