Dear church members, to be divided is to be conquered

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Moshe chopped up the cilantro, garlic and jalapenos for the salad.  His style of cooking was spicy as well as a bit on the hot side. The church’s kitchen was small and there was very little space for more than one cook. Sofia was a wonderful woman who had taken over the preparation of the church’s fellowship dinners for the past two years. She was extremely stressed as she kept trying to work around Moshe who had a cutting board, several sharp knives and salad fixings spread out over most of the kitchen’s limited counter space.

Moshe chopped up the cilantro, garlic and jalapenos for the salad.  His style of cooking was spicy as well as a bit on the hot side. The church’s kitchen was small and there was very little space for more than one cook. Sofia was a wonderful woman who had taken over the preparation of the church’s fellowship dinners for the past two years. She was extremely stressed as she kept trying to work around Moshe who had a cutting board, several sharp knives and salad fixings spread out over most of the kitchen’s limited counter space.

Everyone looked forward to the Wednesday church dinner as it was always a pleasant way to spend a night worshipping God, fellowshipping with others and sharing a wonderful meal together. Moshe was new to the fellowship and wanted to help out anywhere he could.

 Preparing meals for large church crowds is what Sofia was gifted at and she was used to running the kitchen her own way. Moshe was a very talented chef in his own right who also knew what he wanted to accomplish and was well on his way to accomplishing that goal. It has been said before that too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the broth. Soon, both cooks’ patience were beginning to show signs of breaking down as they began to fight and bicker over the evening meal preparation.

Unfortunately, this story ended in the wrong way. Sofia held her ground and insisted that Moshe leave the kitchen to her. Moshe was offended that his help was not wanted or accepted and decided to back out of the kitchen and eventually left the church. If this story sounds familiar to you, do not worry, you are not alone. Many churches go through similar scenarios where feelings get hurt as people strive to hold their territories.

Satan is our enemy; make no mistake about it. His battle plan has been tested and proven to be successful time and time again. He knows the weaknesses of human beings and that is where the front lines of this spiritual battle are taking place. His battle plan is to first divide us, then conquer us by tempting us to fight in the flesh.

When we lack unity in the Holy Spirit we are cut off from central command and wander around aimlessly; essentially being sidelined from the fight. Paul also advises us in chapter two, verse three, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Jesus, was quoted in the gospel of John 17:21, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

Jesus clearly lays out our battle plan for every person, which is to be unified as one body in Christ. As long as we stay connected to the One True Vine then the Holy Spirit can continue to empower us through the battles of life. His unlimited power and resources is our greatest asset, however, we must remain in fellowship with one another to keep the sap flowing through the vine.

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