Phase 1 – Distract
The enemy is wanting us to let down our guard… to take our eyes, our focus, off of God. What better way than to cause a distraction to divert our attention away from where he knows it should be? Are your eyes fixed on Jesus as Hebrews 12:1-3 instructs?
Phase 2 – Discourage
If not, and now that our attention has been diverted, let’s stir in a little conflict to discourage you… stir up some frustration with your Christian brothers and sisters… steal your joy, your peace. But you can stop the attack right here if you do what Ephesians 4:2-3 tells us to do in this situation, and bear with one another in love.
Phase 3 – Distance
If you get tripped up in Phase 2, then our worldly nature starts taking over, and we start distancing ourselves from one another… by our words and our silence… by our actions and our inactions… by hurting each other instead of healing. The distance starts to widen the gaps of our Christian unity. Unless we take corrective action now, the situation will rapidly degenerate from here. Talk it out with your brother or sister, and forgive one another according to Colossians 3:13 before it gets any worse!
Phase 4 – Dissent / Discord
Without forgiveness, that root of bitterness has now taken hold. The very thing we were warned against in Hebrews 12:15 has happened, and the result is dissent and discord among believers. The only way back is through repentance… through turning our hearts back to God. The Lord may also discipline His children, if He hasn’t already… Get your heart right with God, and do what you can to lovingly repair the relationships that have been damaged!
Phase 5 – Divide
We are such a stiff-necked people! Jesus warned us in John 10:10 that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Once we stubbornly refuse to show love, mercy, and forgiveness to others, and once the lines of division have been drawn, then the enemy is celebrating… He is about to divide the Body of Christ… to fracture our unity for all the world to see.
But don’t let that be the end of the story! Throughout the Bible, God tells His people… Repent… Repent… Repent! Turn your hearts back to Me! Do the things I’ve commanded you to do!
God will bring healing and restoration and will rebuild our unity as we carry out Galatians 6:1-2…
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
And when we start walking in the Light again, then we will once more have fellowship with one another! (1 John 1:7)
To God be the glory!