When the church was birthed in Acts it provided a place for believers to assemble and unite in their shared faith. The members of the original church supported and prayed for one another while worshipping God. Early Christians faced intense persecution, the assembling of the saints was beneficial to lift the spirits of their fellow believers. The church congregation met in each others homes encouraging one another in their walk in Christ. It was a community knitted together by their love for God and their desire to fulfil the great commission. Matthew 28:19-20 ESV / ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’.
In the early church there was a strong sense of unity, denominations were not apparent at this point in time and the body worked together for a common good. It was as simple as believers coming together to worship the one sovereign God in one accord. The church were so powerful that when Peter was imprisoned, it was the prayers of his fellow saints that led to his release. The church’s collective prayers reached heaven. God sent an Angel to break the chains off Peter and lead him out of prison. The persistent prayer and unshakeable faith that God would and could release Peter produced results, there was no need for rallying or petitioning not that there is anything wrong with those activities, they were just not necessary for the task at hand.
Satan realised he had little power against believers, once they knew who they were in Christ. The scriptures are clear where two or three are p gathered in the name of Jesus he will be among them. Prayer is communicating with God, when the righteous man prays he has the ability to bring heaven on earth. Elijah prayed to bring down fire from heaven as well as praying for rain. The bible tells us the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. Imagine how much the church as a body can accomplish if we all worked in unison solely for the benefit of the kingdom. Acts 2:42-47 ‘And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need’. Satan understands how powerful and effective a body of believers working in unison can be. Hence the reason he attempts to destroy the church internally and distract members from praying together. The bible tells us that Satan wages war against the saints, he attacks the church to discourage both believers and non believers and hinder prayers. His main objective is to portray Christians as judgemental and hypocrites if we cannot get along and work together what representation are we showing to unbelievers.
Satan is not a creative being he uses the same old tried and tested strategy if you can’t beat them join them. Tactics such as divide and conquer are implemented using workers of iniquity to infiltrates the church masquerading as believers to cause havoc ushering in different spirits such as pride, wrath, gossip, unrighteous judging, unforgiveness and bitterness. Not all judging is wrong it is the motive that is behind the judging that we must be concerned with. If we are truly concerned for our brother and sisters spirituality then we can talk to them in love. We must make sure that we take the log out our own eye before any reproach is carried out. The bible is clear on how we should handle disagreements within the church in an orderly manner Matthew 18:15-17 ‘If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you , you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector’.
Satan works to create disharmony within the body. He isolates members by causing them to take offence. He works on segregating members to form cliques reducing the power of the congregation so they will not pray in unison. If he can cause confrontations within the body, we will be so focused on our internal struggles we cease to become effective in their own communities and families. Hebrews 4:2 ‘For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened’.
The devil tries to have the church so distracted with trivial issues that are irrelevant preventing the body from functioning appropriately. We see this happening on a broader scale with different denominations disagreeing amongst themselves. No denominations will be present in heaven, only one true church and each member will be judged by what God sees in their heart. We must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. If we all came together to resolve and pray about certain issues effecting our world and communities we would be a threat to the Devil. God is waiting for a vessel he can speak through people he can rely on. We are called to be the light of the world do not let the enemy’s schemes work in putting your light out.
God loves the church and sees all churches as one body. When the disciples saw other people casting out demons. The Lord was in favour and did not attempt to stop them as he knew their intentions were good. When the disciples tried to prevent them, Jesus rebuked them he said if they were not against him they were on the same team. As long as Christians intent is to set souls free or genuine desire to advance the kingdom of God, how can God not be in favour of this. 1 Corinthians 1:2 ‘To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours’.
God will always find people who are willing to do his work. There will always be remnant he will work through, if we refuse to do what we have been called to do he will appoint somebody else to take our place. Matthew 16:18 ‘And I tell you, you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’. We all need to give account on judgement day how we lived our lives. Lets not judge one another but work together in love. We can accomplish far more here on earth when we work together. Lets take the emphasis of ourselves and focus on Jesus. We need to be transforming our communities and families’. Romans 16:16 ESV / ‘Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. We need to work together for the kingdom, united we stand divided we fall. Christians must love one another, we should serve one another and carry each others burdens’. 1 Corinthians 3:9 ESV ‘For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building’.
Church whatever we bind on earth we bind in heaven, whatever we loose on earth we loose in heaven. We should be praying with one mind and agenda, when we pray like this in faith heaven has to respond. God loves the church and will manifest his power through the faith of his believers. Matthew 18:19 Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my father in heaven. Ephesians 3:10 ESV ‘So that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places’.