Jill Jarrell Newsome
Satan Loves Division
No one is immune to Satan's attempts to deceive us. Scripture clearly states that Satan is real, and his goal is to draw people away from God and cause division. In John 17: 20-21, Jesus prayed for all believers. "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father,are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."
Genesis 11 tells the story about the tower of Babel. The people wanted to build a city with a tower reaching into the sky in order to make a name for themselves. God intervened at Babel by confusing the language of the people so that they scattered throughout the world. Sounds like the world today. We still live with the bitter results of division whether it is in politics, racism, prejudice, warfare, etc. Just as I feel we begin making headway in one area, division rears its ugly head somewhere else. While I think there will always be divisions, I know there are things that each one of us could do to make it better.
Just as we are known by the fruits of our Spirit we are also known, in society, by other things. One that comes to mind rather quickly are our social media posts. Before Paul's conversion he was not meek. He was brutal, proud, bigoted, selfish, etc. Afterwards he wrote in his letter to the churches of Galatia, "“The fruit of the Spirit is . . . gentleness, goodness . . . meekness.” Galatians 5: 22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Paul was not meek on his own. Being meek is God given just like the other fruits of the Spirit. It is not our nature to be those things - it is our nature to be proud and arrogant. That is why we need to be born again. Jesus told Nicodemus and all of us in John 3: 7, "...You must be born again."
The thoughts of the flesh result in death. Paul is referring to the internal drive that opposes God. If Christ's Spirit lives in us, and we let Him govern our minds and behaviors according to God's desires they will give life and peace. Wouldn't we rather give life and peace than death and destruction? Romans 8:5-6 “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”
Satan drew Eve's attention from her abundance of God's provision to the one thing she was not to touch - the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Satan continues to use this on people. We have greed for certain things, we have envy for what someone else has and we have no tolerance for another person's opinion. After Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights, Satan came to Him suggesting that He turn stones into bread to satisfy his hunger. Jesus obeyed His heavenly Father and did not give into Satan. If he would come to Jesus, you know he comes to us. The devil comes to us when we are hungry, angry, tired or lonely. Let's recognize these temptations for what they are and not let the devil use us!
"Never assume that loud is strong and quiet is weak." unknown