Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Thames River, London

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What Separates Us? A Week of Fasting - Day 4

John 17:20-23

“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.  The glory which you have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one; just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”



It is Jesus’ prayer that we (the church) be united as one, just as God the Father and God the Son are one. 

But if a united church body is the prayer of our Savior, what is the program of Satan? 

Division.   


 What does Satan intend to do to disrupt the unity of your family, at Warrenton Bible Fellowship, or among the church universally? He will seek to conquer and divide the same ways he has since the beginning…

Competition 

Genesis 4:3-5

“So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground.  Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions.  And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offerings; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard.  So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.”

Here we see the first tactic of the enemy: 

getting brothers to compete against each other. 


Let's face it…

We live in a society that exalts competition, but such is not the way of the kingdom.   

1 Corinthians 12 tells us we are one body, one family.  


Therefore, when one part of the body is blessed, the whole body should rejoice!  When good things happen to your brothers and sisters in Christ, don’t be intimidated, but rejoice because you’re being blessed as well!


Jesus showed us what He thought of competition at the pool of Bethesda.  It was thought that whenever the pool was stirred, the first one in would be healed.  So there were always crowds of people competing to be the first to enter the pool.  Jesus comes on the scene and goes to the very back of the crowd to one who had been losing at this competition for a long time.  And what does Jesus tell him?  “Take up your mat and walk”.  In a sense, “leave this place of competition”. 


There is nothing but heartache and disappointment when we try to compete with each other as members of the Body of Christ.  
And over time, heartache and disappointment will lead to the division of the body.



Exposure

Genesis 9:20-22

“Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard.  He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself in his tent.  Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his brothers outside.”

Why do we expose the “nakedness” of others?   Why is gossip such an enticing endeavor? I think the answer is the sense of camaraderie that follows.  If Sam says to Bill, “I can’t believe what Ron did last week”, initially there’s something in human nature that produces a bond between Sam and Bill as they talk about Ron.  They might sound very spiritual, as in “Did you hear what happened to Ron?  I know you will pray about it so I want to share with you what he did…”   When you cut through the piety, there is gossip at the root. 



A few days later, Sam sees Ron speaking with Bill and thinks; I bet they’re talking about me. Then paranoia creeps in. 


Exposure produces a false fellowship because you can be sure that if someone has listened to you gossip about another, they will be involved in gossip about you.  

“But I was just listening” you say.  According to Proverbs 17:4, even if you just listen, you are a partner in sin.  

Proverbs goes on to say in 26:20, “For lack of wood the fire goes out, And where there is no whisper, contention quiets down”.  

If you refuse to listen, the gossip stops. 


Proverbs goes even further and says in 17:9, “He that covers a transgression seeks love”.  And that is seen in Genesis 9.  Ham exposed his father’s sin, but his brothers covered it. 

In addition to competition and exposure, there are a few more tactics of the enemy: Favoritism, Jealousy, and Legalism.  Come to WBF at 6:30PM on Friday, September 20 to hear about these and to partake in what might be the greatest act of unity we can do as a church!

Randy Davidson
September 2013





No comments:

Post a Comment