I believe THAT is not the question, but instead that there are TWO others we need to be considering …
Are you following YOUR heart’s conviction and serving an AUDIENCE OF ONE?
Are you allowing the Enemy to cause distraction and disunity within the body of Christ by forming (spoken or unspoken) judgements of those who have differing opinions? (John 10:10)
This was a hard one for me to write because I know there are strong opinions on this issue and the last thing I want to do is cause disunity. I do, however, believe this needs to be put out there. The inspiration to write this post came from an encounter I had with a sweet friend this past weekend who has given me permission to share.
We are Neighbors. Christians. Friends. Both a part of the Body of Christ
Same Church. Same Season of Life. Same Parenting Style. Same Values.
A Difference… MY Family chooses to trick or treat and decorate with Pumpkins and spider webs for Halloween HER family chooses not to and goes with a more harvest fall decorating scheme.
Watch what Satan tries to do with this scenario.
This past weekend, our children were playing outside together as my friend and I monitored from a distance… the topic of Halloween came up between the boys. I began to feel a little awkward… unsettled… separated. When play time was over, I walked away feeling a little mad … not at my friend… but at what the enemy was trying to do. … CAUSE DISUNITY.
You have to look closely to see it… Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world… In the physical world, nothing had changed. But in the spiritual world, the enemy was throwing out some “tactics” (lies) to try and separate my friend and I. Let me explain….
This awkward, unsettled, self conscious feeling was coming from what I started hearing in my head… something along the lines of “She thinks less of you because you participate in Halloween. She’s looking down on you. I bet she’s rethinking letting our children hang out?” Now, Was this what she was really thinking? Of course not!
When I recognized the lie I was hearing, I started thinking that she could have been hearing a similar lie… something like… I bet Christie thinks I’m weird because we don’t participate – I wonder what other people are thinking? Was this what I was really thinking? Of course not!
The Result: Awkwardness, insecurity, confusion …. distance…. this ultimately comes from my personal struggle of people pleasing… and if I would not have taken those thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) … then OFFENSE would have taken hold and caused DISUNITY.
It makes me wonder how often things like this happen.
Paul knew that Satan is the great enemy of God and his people, and one of his enduring tactics to disrupt the church and to hinder our witness to the world is to bring about disunity.
We have to be sooo careful of this because disunity doesn’t only affect you and your church… it also affects those outside of the church who are watching you.
The impact can be great and Satan knows this.
So, back to the REAL questions:
1) Are you following YOUR heart’s conviction and serving an audience of one?
Personal convictions are exactly that… personal convictions … between you and God.
Are you following your convictions regardless of what others think? Colossians 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
Interesting topic I’m currently looking into – Biblical vs Personal Convictions
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
2) Are you allowing the enemy to cause disunity by forming opinions of others who have different personal convictions?
Satan is always looking for ways to come at the church.
2 Timothy 2:23-24 But refuse (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with) trifling (ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questionings, for you know that they foster strife and breed quarrels. And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome (fighting and contending). Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and mild-tempered [preserving the bond of peace]; he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong. [AMP]
ONLY the Father knows the hearts of man and has place to judge.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 1 King 8:39 Then hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart You know, for You and You only know the hearts of all the children of men,
My goal for writing this post:
1 Peter 5:8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
To be AWARE of how Satan tries to cause disunity among believers
Be INTENTIONAL and not allow it (go out of your way to make sure Satan cannot use your words or actions against you.)
PRAY for EVERYONE to hear our Lord clearly and follow His voice and no one else.
PRAY for God’s will and protection over our words and actions
To be AWARE of your own intentions – Are you seeking to please God or others?
My goal for each October 31st.
This is what I SPEAK:
This is a day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).
These are the questions I PRAY for wisdom for:
How can I be a light to the world on this day? How can I teach my children to see God in everyday including this one? How is God calling ME to stand out?
This is our PUMPKIN TRADITION:
Pumpkin Parable: Use pumpkin carving to share the gospel.