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May 7th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

10 comments (+ Add)

If I Were the Devil

If I were the devil, my number one strategy to thwart the work of God would be to divide Christ’s church. Satan certainly knows the words of Jesus that a Kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.

Jesus asked God to make all His disciples one (John 17:21). He prayed that we would be brought to complete unity (John 17:23). Paul told us to, “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit…” (Eph. 4:3)

Unity doesn’t mean uniformity.

We shouldn’t be alike in style, philosophy, and personal preferences. We are strengthened in our diversity. We can be unified and diversified!

We don’t have to be alike or agree on minor issues to agree on the Lordship of Christ!

For example, a strong church in my community changed its worship style. Several other churches within the same denomination took out full-page ads against this church, calling them heretics. HEARTBREAKING!

As a parent, I hate when my kids fight. Imagine how God must feel when He looks at His children who can’t get along.

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Comments

there are a total of10
  1. May 7, 2008 at 6:18 am

    C,

    I have this feeling that the enemy has already been doing this for years. Will he step up the pressure? I am sure of it. My submission: “If I were the devil” I would mess with more local churches when it comes to outreach. I would step up efforts to convince churches that looking at outreach is a waste of time and get them navel-gazing more. Sort of like stand around in a circle holding hands and singing “Kum ba yah” or singing “Pass It On” (but not really) while sharing candle flames. Not much gets done but it is really great for looking at each other.

  2. May 7, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Great point Craig, it is sad when as Christians & Churches we take shots at each other. We are on the same side seeking to build the same Kingdom and have a real enemy to deal with, sadly we fight each other instead of him.

    I find that when a church is doing well it attracts negative attention form other churches. Sad, very sad, I know it breaks God’s heart.

    I see this changing with the younger crop of leaders coming up. Denominational lines have been blurred and there is a greater desire to just take ground for God. So I am very hopeful.

    “If I were the devil” I would attack pastors like never before. I know for me personally there have been many seasons of pain, frustration, & discouragement where I have almost walked away. “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.”

  3. May 7, 2008 at 8:32 am

    At Flamingo, Pastor Troy has bred a culture where our diversity IS our unity. Recently, I got to speak at a Brazilian church, where they only speak Portugese and last week, we took a tour of a Jewish temple and a Catholic church (down the street from ours) just to get to know them! I hope both of these experiences ticked off the devil! : )

  4. May 7, 2008 at 8:46 am

    [...] Great post by Pastor Craig Groeschel: http://swerve.lifechurch.tv/2008/05/07/if-i-were-the-devil/ [...]

  5. 5Mark Jr
    May 7, 2008 at 9:27 am

    I only have one comment: Amen. God bring us together for the spread and reign of your kingdom.

  6. May 7, 2008 at 10:53 am

    [...] read this article on Swerve today and it opened my eyes to something that I have been observing for a very long time.  It may [...]

  7. May 7, 2008 at 11:45 am

    [...] great post from Swerve blog I think sums it [...]

  8. May 7, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Your testimony of the other church is sad…

    I love that you said…

    We shouldn’t be alike in style, philosophy, and personal preferences. We are strengthened in our diversity. We can be unified and diversified!

    so true…!!!

    There is the other side of the devil’s coin though… unifying them all under his banner and setting himself up as God through an illusion…after all even Satan comes in the form of an angel of light..

    He does want to divide the church from the truth, but he also wants to unite them under a lie…as the scripture declares will happen one day…

    I know of hundreds of churches that are huge, and successful that have attached themselves to a popular teacher to believe that the bible isn’t God’s word necessarily… that hell is just a mindset and doesn’t exist, and that the ultimate expression of God is in our own unique ideas… all of those are heresy… and have nothing to do with styles of worship…

    Dividing over a style of worship is silly, and heresy is preaching other than the message of truth(that being the testimony of Jesus Christ, man’s sinfulness, and man’s need of redemption), not how you worship

    Some criticisms need to be taken with a grain of salt, and some need to be listened to, all need to be tested as 1John4:1 says…

    The idea of unity isn’t just beautiful, it is God’s plan… but remember it also the devil’s plan too…

    Remember how quickly the Israelites bowed down to worship the golden calf… they were unified…

    I trust your leadership Craig… I hope you never compromise unity for verity(truth)… as a great preacher once said… “unity without verity is no better than conspiracy”…

    Hopefully some food for thought…

  9. May 13, 2008 at 7:11 am

    [...] I read this on Craig Groeschel’s blog and it’s resonates with me. Here is a link to the entire post Jesus asked God to make all His disciples one (John 17:21). He prayed that we would be brought to [...]

  10. 10Lindsey
    Jul 30, 2008 at 12:34 am

    “From the beginning, right there in Eden, the Enemy’s strategy has relied upon a simple aim: DIVIDE and CONQUER. Get them isolated and take them out.” -John Eldredge, Waking the Dead

    Unity is extremely important, and as you’ve said, it was the heart cry of Jesus for the church… so Satan fiercely opposes it. Not only in the large-scale body of Christ, but also in intimate community relationships like lifegroups. The enemy knows how much we need close Christian allies to live out God’s plan for us, and he does all he can to destroy it. I’ve definitely experience that many times, and I’ve realized that we really have to come against him in prayer and spiritual warfare, resisting him and refusing to buy into his lies. Dividing us IS Satan’s strategy, and he’s been quite effective… we have to recognize the subtle attacks (feeling overwhelmed and in a fog, thinking we’re better off alone, creating distance, the little annoyances in others, judgmental thoughts, etc) …and step up and FIGHT IT!

    On another note, I love what you say about having unity WITH diversity! That’s so important that we love people the way Jesus would love them, rather than being judgmental because they don’t fit our uniform Christian “box.” I so appreciate your heart for bringing unity in the church… the OnePrayer series was amazing. And as a member of LifeChurch, I want to add that I’m incredibly thankful for all you do for us and have been so blessed by your teaching, and that I’m praying for you to continue to hear from God and serve him wholeheartedly!