Designs of the Enemy
2 Cor. 2:10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ. 11 And we do this so that we may not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
There is one who has sinned and been less than faithful to God. In his earlier letter Paul had addressed this situation and told the church to take action. That action had been taken and now this one is showing signs of remorse and repentance. The church community doesn’t seem to know how to respond and Paul is giving them direction. The man is to be forgiven and invited back into the fellowship.
The designs of the enemy are to create division within the body of believers. A united fellowship, serving God together is something for the enemy to fear! There is strength in this united community — but if the community can be divided — that is the enemy’s design. Wesley commented, “for the loss of one soul is a common loss.” The entire body of Christ suffers over the loss of one individual.
Jesus had said that the world would know his children by the way that they love one another. Anytime there is a distraction that keeps God’s children from loving one another, the enemy has his way. Satan is working hard to outwit God’s children. His design is to create division within the body of Christ.
I believe the enemy is working overtime to bring division to the body of Christ. The more that we can be fragmented, the less effective we become.
What was to define the body of Christ? The overflow of God’s nature through his people — holy love! You and I, we are all called to be God’s holy children, a reflection of Christ in this world.
There are wounded among the family of God. Paul knew it was important to reach out and restore the one who had fallen. Too often we think that restoration is about the person who has sinned, when restoration really may have to do with the remaining body of Christ. It may be that the lack of a forgiving spirit toward an individual creates such division within the body that the church cannot truly be the church.
The design of the enemy is to splinter Christianity. Let’s not be fooled! We need to have a generous and loving spirit within the body of Christ to be united in service to him.
Lord, may we not give in to the temptation to bring division to your body. Amen.