Getting the Devil out of Our Churches

 

Getting the Devil out of Our Churches

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

Psalm 133:1 NKJV

After a long, difficult week, battling the world, we eagerly gather at church on Sunday for a time of refreshing worship. Is it the one day you look forward to in anticipation of peace and love among brothers and sisters? While the church can be a haven from the outside world, we must guard this slice of heaven on earth.

As Jews journeyed to Jerusalem annually for their various feasts, they sang the Psalms known as the songs of ascent. David penned Psalm 133 describing the blessedness of unity and brotherly love they would enjoy during their feasts.

In His High Priestly prayer, Jesus prayed for believers to be one, like the Father and Son are one (John 17:11, 21). Not just once, but twice signifying the weight unity carries with Christ.

Looking at churches today, that may seem impossible. Individual bodies of believers are sometimes characterized by discord. Quarrels pop up about everything from the color of the draperies to who gets to sing the solo.

David described unity as good and pleasant to God and man. The undivided church stands out. The anointing oil used in the Old Testament to set Aaron apart as high priest consisted of fragrant herbs created by God. The oil was poured out abundantly upon Aaron, dripping from his beard to the hem of his garment. Anyone nearby noticed the aroma, just like people take notice of a body of harmonious Christians.

The anointing oil had sanctifying purposes. Likewise, the church perfumed by love will be holy. Not perfect, but further down the path of sanctification than the church fractured by schisms.

Though the blessings of unification can be abundant like the dew drops on the mountains of Israel, the enemy knows his time is ending. the church has a bull’s eye on its back. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He seeks whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8).

Let’s face it. Sometimes, we may his job easy for him. Our feelings get hurt because someone did not speak. The pastor didn’t shake my hand. I always get stuck in the nursery.

The cliques within a church reveal the handiwork of the enemy. Remember the old cliché: “United, we stand and divided, we fall?”

Once Slew foot gets his foot in the door, he builds a stronghold. But our spiritual weapons are mighty in pulling down strongholds. Weapons such as prayer and the sword of the Spirit, our Bibles.

Once we take our eyes off ourselves and begin to love one another, the enemy will lose his grip. We must see beyond our needs and meet the needs of others. Step out of our comfort zones and shake hands with people across the aisle. The enemy tears down, but God builds up.

A church living in unison will provide a peaceful place to spend our day of rest. It will be blessed by the Lord. But it will kick the enemy to the curb, where he belongs.

Lord, thank You for our churches and the freedom to worship. Help me show love equally to everyone in our church. Remove the enemy from our times of worship. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Psalm 133.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Who are the people in your church that you don’t normally get around to say hello? Go to them Sunday. Call or text someone this week that you don’t normally contact and encourage them. Facebook Messenger is great for a personal word of encouragement.

Copyright 2019 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Throwback Thursday: From Scars to Strength

FROM SCARS TO STRENGTH

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,

For in you do I trust?

Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.

Psalm 143:8 NKJV

If King David was alive today, he may be diagnosed with clinical depression. We can safely agree that he had more than his share of heartache. His child with Bathsheba died a few days after birth. One son raped his sister. Another rebelled against David and he was finally killed. David spent time many nights in caves hiding from King Saul. David’s brothers mocked him, and his father never once considered that David could possibly be king. This man after God’s own heart was not spared from deep emotional distress, and neither are we.

Can you relate to David’s cry in verse 7? “My spirit fails!”? His spirit was overwhelmed and his

heart distressed (Ps. 143:4).

You may struggle with depression or other health issues. Your bank account may be broke. Your child has strayed. Your loved ones have passed. You are caring for aging parents and their health needs. It can be a myriad of circumstances, but the result is brokenness.

This shattered life greets you each morning with a reminder that this nightmare is a reality. The pain you hide eludes peace and joy. The enemy succeeds as you doubt God. Doubt your salvation. Doubt your spirituality.

May I suggest that David’s heartache made him a mighty warrior and a great king? His scars became his strengths. Jesus Christ bears the scars in His hands, from the nails that pierced Him. He puts our crumbling lives back together. Your scars from today will be your strengths for tomorrow. Trust God, as David did. Never allow the enemy, whether human or spirit, to cause you to feel shame over your turmoil. One day, it will be a memory and you will be a more powerful Christian because of it.

Heavenly Father, Hear our cries, soothe our broken hearts, and mend us as You comfort our overwhelmed souls. Thank You though we may fall apart, You continue to put us back together better than ever. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Psalm 143.

HIKING THE TRAIL

It is in our weakest moments when God is glorified. Never consider yourself any less spiritual in those seasons. God is glorified through it.

 

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.