Divide and conquer. It’s one of the enemy’s most successful strategies against the human race. It’s intensifying.
I can’t remember a time when the fissures have run so deep. In families, husbands and wives are pitted against each other or children against parents. Division abounds within local churches as well as the Body of Christ worldwide. Our country is being pulled apart at the seams by political factions who feed on disunity. Race divides us. Social issues divide us. Income divides us. The educated verses the uneducated. The secularist verses the religious.
Every line drawn weakens the whole. Although diverse opinions can strengthen the structure, division destroys it. I’m afraid that’s what we now face. Satan has cunningly woven into the fabric strands of such intense discord that almost every sphere of unity faces unraveling. Such disconnectedness makes us easy prey for destruction. How are we to respond?
Romans 12 offers a counter-strategy….
Cultivate genuine love as we vigorously safeguard the truth. We make a concerted (even extravagant) effort to show honor to those who disagree with us, who persecute us for our stand. We refuse to return evil for evil but humbly, as far as it depends on us, live at peace with everyone. We trust God to avenge the wrongs while we accept his challenge to show compassion to our “enemies.” We overcome the evil of divide and conquer with the goodwill of harmony and peace (verses 9-21).
It’s the mindset displayed in the Charleston AME congregation when the white gunman killed nine of their members as they gathered for a Bible study. Those who lost loved ones neither made excuses for the killer nor hurled condemnation. They fully acknowledged his wrong and the sorrow he caused, yet fully offered him the same forgiveness they received when they came to know Christ. Satan’s strategy to divide blacks against whites failed. The whole city—and nation—stood united with these brave believers.
They loved when tempted to hate. Forgave when tempted to curse. They lived out Romans 12 through the power of God. And so can we.
Let’s be aware of Satan’s divide and conquer strategy on whatever level it surfaces. We have opportunity always to overcome his evil with God’s good.