Friday, August 26, 2022

When Villains Embrace Biblical Strategies

Suggested Reading: John 17:20-26 (A prayer of Jesus)

One of the things I knew about the original Avengers movie going in was that getting the heroes to the point where they could work together was supposed to take a good bit of time. Not only was it difficult for so many powerful people with such legendary egos to work together, but one of the central pillars of the enemy's plan was to get the team of heroes fighting with each other so that they would be too busy to fight the bad guys. Loki understood the principle that Jesus espoused in Mark 3:25, "If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand" (HCSB).

As followers of Christ we, too, have an enemy who seeks to divide us. Our Enemy pits us against one another, encouraging our egos and trying to focus us on our differences. And we seem to help him. We fight over things like which strategies will best reach the lost while never actually employing any of them. We argue and strut over whose biblical interpretation is the most accurate instead of living out the Word of God in our lives. We fight over which sins are the most unforgivable and forget that we will only be forgiven if we forgive others (Matthew 28:21-35). In short, we spend so much time bickering and fighting with each other that we have little time left for the task of reaching the world with the Gospel.

Jesus foresaw our tendency toward infighting and shortsightedness in the Garden of Gethsemane and prayed for us:

I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory You have given Me. May they be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.
(John 17:20-23, HCSB)

We may be able to do some good on our own but, like the Avengers, we are stronger when we work together. Let's put our petty differences aside and try to live and work together like Jesus prayed we would. A house divided will never stand.

What Did You Think Was Going to Happen?

Suggested Reading: Judges 16:4-21 or Judges 16 (the whole Samson and Delilah story) I may lose some readers over this statement, but.....