Instigators may be driving wedge, 


cutting the ties that bind, 


between you and your family.

Who are instigators?


Instigators are those who deliberately stir up trouble.


There is no rhyme, reason, or emotional 


understanding with an instigator. 



They are toxic, mean-spirited, and empty.


They are inciters, messy agitators, troublemakers, 


rabble-rousers, provocateurs, and meddlers 


who are notorious and well-practiced at

 

crazy-making and bullying.


Let us be careful who we stand with.

We face an active enemy, every single day, who tries, non-


stop, to manipulate situations, block our progress


(physically, mentally, and spiritually), he tries to hurt us, 


destroy us, or if nothing more... leave scars he can 


attack at willso that we become so preoccupied with 


pain, disappointment, confusion, and chaos... 


 that we are left feeling like we've had the life force 


sucked out of us. 



He wants to gain ground in our lives. Our families 


are under attack. Satan's primary goal is to kill, steal, 


destroy, divide, set us up to lose, oppress us, 


cause a whirlwind of chaos, and wreak havoc. 



We can never get so comfortable 


and let our guards down. 


Let us not be fooled. Satan is a very cunning, unfair,


evil, and deceptive foe.


He wants us to fail; he wants us to quit; 


he wants us to stumble, fall, and die.


He wants to render us as losers and 


completely ineffective.



Satan is a thief, a liar, a tempter, a schemer, 


he is notorious for twisting the truth, 


and seeking to devour us when we are at our weakest  


and most vulnerable.  

Satan wants nothing more than to enter certain areas 


of our lives so he can gain a stronghold. 


He will try anything to throw us off center, 


distract us from our focus, and render us ineffective 


for the Kingdom of God. 


Can two people walk together without 


agreeing on the direction? 


(Amos 3:3 NLT)


We need to know who the enemy is. 


Satan is real, alive, crafty, and busy!


When we become so beside ourselves

 and begin to think we are invincible... 

and we can handle it... 

it's time to humble ourselves, 

bring the ego down to zero, 


and cease trying to deal with the devil 


in our own strength.



Depending on God 


is basic to the Believers' life. 


We trust in and depend on God for our salvation


 (Ephesians 2:8–9). 



We depend on God for wisdom (James 1:5). 



In fact, 


we depend on God for everything 


(Psalm 104:27) and in everything 


(Proverbs 3:5–6). 



The psalmist teaches God’s reliability with 


the three-fold description 


“God is my Rock, my Fortress 


and my Deliverer” 


(Psalm 18:2).



 Let us not be fooled to think we can’t be tempted.
 

God has much to say about Satan's devious schemes.

 

And though God never tells us to be afraid,

 

God does tell us to be on guard and to live aware.



We must know his schemes and understand 


Satan's battle tactics; otherwise, 


he is going to have a field day.


The person we choose to stand with


 often indicates the belief we embrace.

 


"With" and "against" show not just the 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.


The unseen battles that surround us are very real.

We face an active enemy, every single day, 


who is notorious for dividing families. 


All Satan needs is to make a hairline fracture 


into the foundation of our families. 


Once he is able to penetrate the foundation… 


it's only a matter of time before the entire structure 


starts to crumble.


People who scatter the flock of Jesus 


are clearly "against Jesus."


Let us pray and ask God to 

expose the schemes of the enemy.


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.



At the foot of the cross... the ground is level. 

One day there will be a judgment, 

and all will be brought to light.
 

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?


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.



Satan's voice:


“These people can’t be trusted, 


they can’t be dealt with, they are our enemy, 


and they must be fought or avoided.”



They sow 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. 


Satan goes beyond the call of duty to create friction. 

His main objective is to have us fighting one another, 

even turning against our own team. 


We lose power and effectiveness 

when we fight against ourselves. 

And nothing could make Satan happier 

than to see us at war with each other.

 Satan knows military doctrine like nobody else, 


and one of war’s basics is “Divide and conquer.”



Satan uses his preferred weapon,


 the one for which he’s named:


accusation (diabolos, the devil, means accuser).



Anytime a general can divide enemy forces,


he’s in a position to defeat them in detail.


God has a plan for our lives. 


The enemy has a plan for us too. 


We have to determine which voice 


we’re going to listen to, 


and who we will choose to follow. 


The oldest living brother and I were very close. 


In the midst of all of the family drama... 


his girlfriend of over 25 years 


decided she would express how much she hated me


and couldn’t wait to see me living under a bridge.

 


She apparently insisted that my brother


 no longer communicate with me 


and apparently he followed her lead. 


So, now there is a wedge between us. 


We no longer communicate. 


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.

Jesus said, 


“Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed.


A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.”


(Matthew 12:25)

I appeal to you, brothers, 


to watch out for those who cause divisions


 and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine 


that you have been taught; avoid them.


Proverbs 6:16-19

I was floored that my brothers, 


knowing and witnessing all of the hours of degradation, 


the scars of abuse, and almost two decades of hell 


I have gone through, and not even understanding why 


these things were happening, 


themselves, 


would shrink back into silence and not, 


at least empathetically, stand up for truth.


This is baffling


It is, yet, 


another dismal low 


in our family dynamics... 


to say the least. 


My brother who spoke harshly to me 


now seems to be needy for acceptance, 


from the older brother, and the klan of crabs in the barrel.

 


He has gone back into the barrel of crabs and 


is entertaining those, inside the barrel of crabs, 


by gossiping and making unfounded, 


slanderous remarks about me, in their presence.


This particular sort of betrayal is, in my opinion, 


treacherous and damaging.


It’s as if both older brothers, by their actions and words,


are trying to destroy my reputation 


with their slanderous remarks...


and project their pain, fears, and limitations onto me. 


They are acting more like dream-stealers, 


enthusiasm killers, and bubble bursters.


A perverted heart spreads strife and devises


malicious, vicious, vindictive, and evil scheming... 


continually.



A perverted heart consciously considers


how to do that which is hurtful to others.



A perverted heart is full of malicious, vicious, 


and vindictive scheming.



According to the Scriptures...


such people are an abomination


 in God's sight!



Those who perversely scheme


 against others in their hearts...


will reap a harvest of woe!

If my two older brothers would be honest... 


they would tell the truth and admit that 


I’ve been vilified... without cause.

 


The only sense I can make out of this is that 


they would rather quietly sneak back 


into the bucket of crabs and not get involved or...


they could be prone to believe absurd things about others 


simply because things are told to them. 



Whatever it is... 


something has been blown way out of proportion... 


and has created something much deeper than it is... 


was... or should be.

The more they conspire and spread these lies... 


the more it is spiraling into this uncontrollable 


avalanche of unfounded and hurtful allegations!



I'm still confused about the events leading up to 


the relationship breakdowns with my brothers.


I’m trying to make sense out of the nonsense… 


to no avail.

Most incredibly, these senior members of my family 


have finally caved and have been accepted back 


into the bucket of crabs.

 


It's as if part of the initiation, back into 


the bucket of crabs, 


is to destroy my character, my zest for life, 


and sabotage my desire to walk in my calling.


Why? 



Don’t they realize they, too... 


have a calling on their lives?



Do they not realize that time 


is running out?



Every minute someone leaves this


world behind. Time is a limited 


resource. We are living years, 


months, weeks, days, hours, 


minutes, and seconds


that we will never get back...


 and breathing air that we will never 


breathe in again.

 


None of us are getting any younger.

Life is very brief, we are just a mist that appears


on the scene for a little while... and then we vanish.


Let us cherish the joys and not leave this life and our 


assignments from God... unfinished.


Let us try to live each day to the fullest, 


and humbly submit to God's plan and perfect Will. 



At all times, in all situations, let us try our level best 


to do what we know is right, and live in a way 


that won't end in regret.

 

 

Life is so brief. We don't have time to make it our


responsibility to interfere or create drama


in the life and affairs of others.



Let us take the time to review and reconnect 


with our own truth and inner guidance. 


It takes a lifetime to correct and fix ourselves.



Let us take an honest look, at our own life,


to see what we are leaving behind and sending ahead.



When we know who we are and what our purpose is,


 in life... we will have no interest 


in assuming the wrong lane.  



Living in sync with God... leaves a legacy 


that will bless instead of burden its recipients. 


It will enrich us... I am certain, 


throughout eternity.

People are very quick to judge other people’s


shortcomings and they busy themselves, 


to an unwarranted degree, in matters without right 


or invitation. These same busybodies are 


reluctant to look internally... and evaluate their own 


affairs.


God tells us in His Word that the tongue has incredible

 power. We can use our tongue to bring blessings and life

or curses and death. 

The saying "sticks and stones can break my bones, but

words will never hurt me" is simply not true. Our tongues 

can be the most difficult thing to control and leave us with 

great regret if we use our words to hurt. 

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of  your


mouths, but only what is helpful for building others 


up according to their needs, that it may benefit those 


who listen.


Ephesians 4:29

Just because there are no visible signs of scarring doesn't 


mean that one has not been wounded. 


Let us always remember... 


God holds us responsible for the pain we cause.

It is very disappointing to see these men, 


whom I looked up to and respected, 


have nothing to share with the world other than 


devilish gossip, lies, and pettiness.

I don’t understand what any of them have to gain 


in being so hurtful and negative.


I am reminded, however, that the means that man takes to


 kill the character of another... becomes suicide of his own.


 No one has ever attempted to wrong another 


without being injured in return.

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: