Tag Archives: peace

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: A Prayer of Thanksgiving

A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;   Phil. 4:6 (NKJV)

       

Every prayer should be one of thanksgiving. This verse is sandwiched between two verses that help us understand it better.

The reason that we should not be anxious, worried or fretful about anything is because “The Lord is at hand!” (phil. 4:5b). God is always with us. He has promised to never leave us. Rather than being anxious, we should pray, and we should pray with a thankful attitude.

We should thank God not only for what He is going to do, but we should thank Him for what He already is doing. He has saved us. He provides all our needs. He strengthens us when we are weak. should even thank Him for the trials that we are going through because they are for our growth as a Christian, and that brings glory to God. We can be thankful for God’s love and His mercy. We should be thankful for His sovereignty and His power.

It is easy during the Thanksgiving season to become more thankful, but we need to keep this attitude all throughout the year. We take too many things for granted, and we usually don’t think about it until they are gone. Instead of being thankful for what we have, we allow greed to take over, and we want more. Sometimes, God takes something from us in order to draw us closer to Him and away from this materialistic world.

There is a result to thankful prayer, and it is found in the following verse. The peace of God will guard your heart and mind. Peace is the opposite of anxiety. Wouldn’t it be better to face the trials of our lives in peace, knowing that God has a plan and He will work it out for His purpose and our good? Now that is really something to thank God for.

Dear heavenly Father,

Thank You for salvation and all Your mercies! You know what each of us is facing today, and we thank You for what You are going to do in each situation for we trust You. Thank You for the peace You give us as we sail through stormy waters. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Phil. 4:5-7. What are we supposed to pray about? Memorize verses 6-7.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What anxieties can you take to God today? What could be hindering you from feeling peace? Remember to give God thanks. Trust in Him.

Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale Newell.