By E.W. Whitmire
The devil’s business toward mankind has only a few basic directions. If we can “know” our enemy in those areas, we can defeat him. It should be obvious that we will not do this through our own power or strength. We can, however, do all things through the power and strength of Jesus Christ. Let me share three things we need to be aware of, in order to overcome what the devil is trying to do against us. These apply whether it is against the church as a whole or whether it is against each of us as an individual.
First of all, the Word of God, our guide in all things spiritual, tells us that God is not the author of confusion. Because it declares this so clearly, we can say with every confidence that the devil is. We do need to add to that statement. Satan does have just a little help from men sometimes. (In case you didn’t catch it, that statement was thoroughly laced with sarcasm.) If we are doing things that add to the confusion of the moment, we should be aware of just who it is we are really helping. If we are adding confusion, even when trying to do the right thing, it’s very possible that we’re doing the right thing the wrong way. As a further note, Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
The second thing we need to be aware of is that Satan is a great divider. He separates the chiefest of friends. His goal is to destroy marriages. His plans are to bring disharmony. If the devil could ever experience contentment, it would be when he is busy causing division and strife. He separated God and His children in the Garden of Eden, and he wants nothing more than to separate us as well. Satan hates the unity of God’s church. The Holy Spirit however, strives for it. There is great power in unity. In order to defeat the enemy of our soul, we must do everything in our power to reach for unity and to preserve it.
The third thing we need to be aware of is that the devil obtains satisfaction when he can make us focus on that which we do not have. He was able to turn Adam and Eve’s attention away from that which they had onto that which they didn’t. His ability to change their focus destroyed them. As long as we are looking at the things we don’t have, we will never be thankful for the things that we do have. Our fixation on what is not will become so strong it won’t allow us to enjoy what is. This, in turn, allows the devil to foment in us a heart of dissatisfaction and discontent. However, when we have a heart of gratitude for the things that we do have, it opens our hearts and minds to the potential that is before us. Gratefulness frees us from every regret and the things that might have been. It energizes us and allows us to prepare for the battle that is before us. A thankful heart will enable us to equally face the challenges and the opportunities that are before us. It gives us access to faith and might in the power of God.
The way to enlarge gratitude is to frequently express it. After speaking thankfulness, we must then act upon it. God has been good to us! Let us focus on what we do have. Then let us express our thankfulness by giving from the abundance that He has blessed us with. Christmas For Christ is a tool that allows us to share and to give to the work of missions all across America. Let us shed the confusion and embrace a spirit of unity. Let us give together. Let us be grateful for the opportunity to start new churches and to reach the lost, one soul at a time. Our sacrificial giving will make the difference! Let us bind together and overcome the wiles of the enemy. Clarity of purpose, unity of mind and a grateful heart will enable us to fulfill the perfect purpose that God has for us in these closing hours of our times. We can and we will overcome the enemy by the power of Jesus Christ!
E.W. Whitmire is the Director of North American Missions for the Texas District of the United Pentecostal Church International.