Let us not lose sight of who the enemy really is.
As quiet as it's kept...
we're in a day to day battle in this life.
We face an active enemy
every single day that we're here breathing air.
If a kingdom is divided against itself,
that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house cannot stand.
“Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed.
A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.”
In Unity There Is Strength
Once upon a time, there was a flock of doves
that flew in search of food led by their king.
One day, they had flown a long distance
and were very tired.
The dove king encouraged them to fly a little further.
The smallest dove picked up speed
and found some rice scattered beneath a banyan tree.
So all the doves landed and began to eat.
Suddenly a net fell over them and
they were all trapped.
They saw a hunter approaching carrying a huge club.
The doves desperately fluttered their wings
trying to get out, but to no avail.
The king had an idea.
He advised all the doves
to fly up together
carrying the net with them.
He said that there was strength
Each dove picked up a portion of the net
and together they flew off
carrying the net with them.
The hunter looked up in astonishment.
He tried to follow them,
but they were flying high over hills and valleys.
They flew to a hill near a city of temples
where there lived a mouse who could help them.
He was a faithful friend of the dove king.
When the mouse heard the loud noise of their approach,
he went into hiding.
The dove king gently called out to him
and then the mouse was happy to see him.
The dove king explained that they had been caught
in a trap and needed the mouse's help
to gnaw at the net with his teeth and set them free.
The mouse agreed
saying that he would set the king free first.
The king insisted that he first free his subjects
and the king last.
The mouse understood the king's feelings
and complied with his wishes.
He began to cut the net and one by one
all the doves were freed including the dove king.
They all thanked the mouse and
flew away together,
united in their strength.
The Four Oxen and the Lion
The fable reads as follows:
A lion used to prowl about a field
in which four oxen used to dwell.
Many a time he tried to attack them;
but whenever he came near
they turned their tails to warn another,
so that whichever way he approached them
he was met by the horns of one of them.
At last, however,
they began to quarrel amongst themselves,
and each went off to pasture alone in the
separate corner of the field.
Then the Lion attacked them one by one
and soon made an end of all four.
United we stand, divided we fall.
The enemy works to create disunity.
Satan comes "as a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour."
What is his strategy?
DIVIDE AND CONQUER!
To be divisive is to cause division in an active way.
Some seem to have a knack for pulling people apart.
They do this by:
Starting arguments, lying and spreading gossip with
incredible speed from person to person, creating cliques,
carrying grudges, and backstabbing.
They deliberately undermine others.
Satan never fights fair.
This evil one comes in with his opposing forces
when we are at our weakest, most vulnerable moments.
He’s cruel. He will try to kick us while we’re down,
and attack when we are already struggling.
and at our weakest, most vulnerable moments.
Satan is an accuser,
a cunning deceiver,
and a liar,
who loves twisting the
truth and dividing
He likes to use the old trick of warfare...
divide and conquer.
He loves to have people fight with one another
so that they will not join together against him.
He has been successful in this tactic so often
that we separate from one another along these lines.
Satan knows that if we were to go out
like the disciples did;
in One Name,
for One purpose
and with One goal in mind,
that we would be a mighty,
The tighter the group is,
the worse such divisiveness can get.
In division, Satan is able to orchestrate
the best of all worlds for his side.
Some people will not only stop pursuing their mission
of growing disciples for the kingdom of God,
they actually begin destroying each other.
The lingering effects of division can go on for years.
Satan knows military doctrine like nobody else,
and one of war’s basics is “divide and conquer.”
Anytime a general can divide enemy forces,
he’s in a position to defeat them in detail;
the smaller segments are no match
for the power he can concentrate against them.
Satan uses his preferred weapon,
the one for which he’s named:
accusation (diabolos, the devil, means accuser).
We often think of his accusation as being against God,
or accusing a believer in the sense
of making him feel too guilty to draw close to God.
Satan plants hostile interpretations of others’ actions
and words in the minds of his victims.
The accuser begins to plant accusations
in the minds of people and those who know better.
We may be attacked with lies from people
we would never have believed would do such a thing...
this is how Satan works;
by planting accusations in the minds
on both sides of the divide,
he makes communication and reconciliation difficult.
“These people can’t be trusted,
they can’t be dealt with, they are our enemy,
and they must be fought or avoided.”
Sowing suspicion in the name of Satan’s game.
He can usually ground suspicions in facts, at least partially,
subtly adding assumptions about people’s motives.
Some people are remarkably susceptible
to suspicious thoughts about others.
They never consider
that the accusing voice in their heads
might be Satan.
The Evil One knows which individuals
have immature conflict-management skills.
These self-centered individuals rarely go to people
they harbor suspicions against with a humble spirit
and open mind.
Instead they become bitter and spread their suspicions
to others, often exaggerating for effect.
Divisive people deliberately and aggressively
form cliques of haters who will stand with them.
They contact others with the aim of dividing
and pitting one person against another.
They may even travel from place to place
with the intention of causing division,
unrest, confusion, disharmony,
and all kinds of vile and evil acts.
Watch out for those who cause
divisions and create obstacles.
Let us be careful who we stand with.
The person we choose to stand with
often indicates the belief we embrace.
"With" and "against" show not just source,
but position in relationship to Jesus.
Men often will stand with a friend
and without realizing it,
will find themselves standing "against" God
and His Word.
People who scatter the flock of Jesus
are clearly "against Jesus."
The wicked and divisive may believe that they
have gotten away with their evil,
but God sees all... and will judge all.
Wicked people may even fool those in authority,
but they cannot fool God.
They will eventually pay... if not in this life,
they will pay in eternity.
Let us ask ourselves this question:
"Is the person we are listening to
scattering or gathering the flock?"
The answer to that question will indicate the source:
Is it God or Satan?
In the Sermon On The Mount Jesus was quite specific
about dealing with difficult people in love and humility:
“But I tell you who hear me:
The Bundle of Sticks
The phrase, “United we stand, divided we fall,”
is not used directly in this fable.
However, the moral of the story is the same.
This short fable tells of a man whose sons
often quarreled amongst themselves.
To show them the benefit of working together,
he brings them a bundle of sticks.
He asks them to break the bundle of sticks.
As expected, the brothers cannot break the sticks
when they are bundled together.
However, they can easily be broken individually.
The moral of this story is written:
"My sons, if you are of one mind,
and unite to assist each other,
you will be as this bundle,
uninjured by all the attempts of your enemies;
but if you are divided among yourselves,
you will be broken as easily as these sticks."