SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Gal 5:15) But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Every now and then you hear reports of U.S. troops mistakenly killing other U.S. troops in what is termed "friendly fire." They thought it was the enemy but then they realized it was one of their own! Once they realized the error it was too late. The Bible says that Christians can get caught up in a war with each other and unfortunately annihilate one another. Paul likens it to wild animals biting and devouring one another in a pack fight. That's probably worse than friendly fire because you know who you are killing.
Why do Christians fight when we serve the Prince of peace? I guess it's just that sinful nature that is still in us. When we first came to Christ we were thrilled to be identified with other believers. We heard about loving one another and it wasn't hard at all. But then on down the road the glow wore off and we started seeing faults in each other. Then someone hurt us and we engaged in a war with them. Friendly fire took its toll and there was carnage everywhere.
They say the primary cause of friendly fire is commonly known as the "fog of war" which attributes friendly fire incidents to the confusion inherent in warfare. The position of the troops shifted and it wasn't told to the others so they were shot at as the enemy. Maybe there is poor terrain and visibility. It could be bad weather or combat stress or a combination of factors. Regrettably things happen that you are sorry about later.
But what are the causes of Christian friendly fire? Someone hurt my feelings? Someone didn't apologize? They took credit for what I did? They gossiped behind my back? They never paid me back? They bailed when I needed them? They were insensitive to my needs? And then things went "bang, bang!" Someone hit the floor dead. Others had to duck and take cover. The mop-up was nasty. And things have never been the same since.
Jesus prayed to the Father for our unity: (John 17:21) that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. What a witness to the world Christian unity is. When we are one the world is won. And what a sweetness is fostered when Christians stand united: (Psa 133:1-3) Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing— life forevermore.
Is there someone you are at war with in the Christian body? Do you find it hard to forgive them and easy to shoot at them? Do you know you are really aiming at Christ? Remember what Jesus said to Saul (Paul) at his conversion? (Acts 9:4-5) Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting... Because there is an permanent union between Christ and His body, Saul's persecution was a direct attack on Christ Himself!
We are at war against the devil and his dark domain. We need every soldier in the battle! Let's turn our energy against Satan's strongholds and release the holds we have on one another. Let's give it our best shot!