United Church of God

Treasure Digest: Resist the Enemy

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Treasure Digest

Resist the Enemy

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Our enemy is relentless. Peter warned us in 1 Peter 5:7-8 that we must be ever vigilant and resist the attacks of the enemy. Just because we've been hurt badly and are a much smaller church than we once were does not mean the devil has packed up and retired. He will never stop attacking us until he is locked up for good. His tactics are well known: distract, discourage, divide and overwhelm with despair. And yet, knowing this, we still fall for the same temptations.

One of the devil's tried and true tactics is to get brethren to do his dirty work for him, by enticing us to sow discord and division in the Church. God hates the sowing of division. God's Spirit in us will be peaceable and patient (1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:22-23). Deeply converted people do not argue and wrangle over doctrine (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

Pride revels in being right and winning the argument. Human nature is impatient, but godly love patiently waits for God to set the record straight in His time and in His way. Paul advised us that when we believe a thing that would cause someone else to stumble, that we must keep it between us and God alone (Romans 14:22).

We need to focus on the big picture—God's Kingdom—and not be distracted from our true calling to focus on minutiae. Don't fall into the trap of obsessing about some issues and falling short in the weightier matters (as the Pharisees did). Don't be distracted by the world and its problems (1 John 2:15; 2 Timothy 2:4). Let worldly people deal with worldly problems (Matthew 8:22).

Don't be pulled into causes, controversies or crusades to the detriment of your true calling. Paul urged us to focus on our true calling, casting all else aside, and to not neglect the fabulous opportunity that God has offered us (Hebrews 12:1-2, 2:1-3).