“Be mindful, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Even from amongst your own selves they will arise and distort the truth in order to draw a following.” (Acts 20:29-30)
For some reason I couldn’t go to sleep tonight/this morning because this verse was stuck on my mind. I’m not too sure why, I hadn’t read through Acts in quite some time. But yet, this parcel of Scripture was repeating itself over and over in my mind. I strongly believe that some of the worst attacks that the Church faces today are the attacks from within. A lot of times we face our attention to “the world” and what “the enemy” is going to do from the outside. We put up our guard against the attacks that come from in front of us … and we seldom give attention to what’s going on right under our nose.
Sometimes people who are being used to cause dissension in a church don’t even know that they are being used to do that. But slowly, pride and jealousy start to arise in that person, insubordination and eloquent words sneaking their way into that person’s spirit. And just like a snowball rolling down a hill, that gets bigger in time, the gradual decline of that person will cause them to divide the church. How can you tell? Gossip increases. Shots at someone’s character. Talking behind someone’s back. Saying they can “do ministry” better than someone else. And they cover it up by saying, “so and so needs prayer because …”
These are signs of these wolves in the spirits of these Christians, who are being used to rip apart the flock of the Church. They cause dissension and bitterness in the congregation, continually attacking others with their words and malicious tongues. There are three types of people in the church – those who aim to bring unity among everyone, those who aim to form teams and “cliques” within the congregation … and the worst, those who see the latter yet stand idly by and do nothing.
Church, we are called to protect one another. To be a voice against those who seek to cause a split within the church. How dare we notice these things and remain silent? How dare we see the division and brush it off like nothing? How dare we know that there is a problem and yet we do nothing?? … There is a great burden on my heart for the Church of today. Now, more than ever, we see division and deceit rising up from within the very walls that we profess the name of Christ. And now, more than ever, we must take our place as bold Christians and defend the faith, both doctrinally and spiritually. We have a battle to fight, not just against “the world”, but also within our churches. Let us not be apathetic to the call, but let us arise in this time of need and make the difference that we are called to make.