Refuse to play Satan's game

By Crossmap

Psalms 55:12-14 (NIV) If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.

 

The deepest pain is from betrayal by those we have placed our trust in, those who are closest to us. It was after three years of pouring into Judas' life, and immediately after washing his feet as an expression of love that Jesus was betrayed by him. We hurt so much because we have such love for that person. We expected just the opposite from them. We sowed love and we expected love in return.

This is one reason churches have such internal conflict. We sacrifice for one another with one goal in mind. We experience special times together, and from that conclude that our hearts are one in our mission and purpose. Then, someone becomes offended by something, intentional or unintentional. They begin to look for fault in the one who offended them. The offense may even have been an expression of love or a complete misunderstanding. Then the offended one offends. The wounds become deeper and the attitudes more bitter, until Satan has achieved his goal, division.

Once the cycle begins, there is only one way out. Unconditional forgiveness expressed because of the supernatural love of God in our hearts. You can't work it up or try hard to express it. It must come from God. Only His love can say of the ones driving nails into him, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they are doing." We must see as he sees, that the battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers and principalities. It is never personal, no matter how personal it seems. Division in the body of Christ is Satanically inspired. We can't dismiss sin and leave it buried, for leaven will permeate the whole. We can love and forgive those who get caught up in it and encourage repentance and restoration.

Remember: Has someone offended you? Don't let the cycle begin. Refuse to play Satan's game. Do everything possible to restore your relationship with the offender, but begin by asking God for His love for that person.