The Four Signs Satan is Winning – #1: Divisiveness
Thank you all for hanging in there with me on this blog series on the Enemy! If you are just joining the blog series, you can catch up on the previous two posts here.
It’s been interesting for me to write this blog series because it’s clear that Christian leaders and teachers run across two extremes. They either are talking about Satan all the time or they never mention him. But it’s clear through Scripture that he’s real, and he can have an influence in our lives. The greatest mistake I think we can make with his evil is to either overestimate or underestimate his influence. So how can you tell when the enemy is getting the upper hand in your life and in your leadership? I’ve identified 5 signs I have seen in myself and in others that show that he is winning over God in your life. Over the next 5 posts (including this one), I’ll be walking you through these 5 signs.
- Divisiveness in your life is common
If there is one strategy that Satan comes back to time and time again, it’s creating division. Why? Because it works! Oddly, some Christians wear their divisiveness as a badge of honor…. And let me make something clear. It’s not, instead it’s a badge of evil. In Galatians 5, Paul does us a great service by listing the characteristics of human behavior motivated by God and behavior that is motivated by evil:
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do[e] such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Look at the list of those behaviors motivated by the flesh: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies. Take away the sexual sins here (which are seen far too often in the church), and these characteristics are found far too often in our churches. Contrast that with we see in our lives as the Holy Spirit is in control: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
The contrast couldn’t be any sharper…. And yes, I heard those of you in the back of the room who are saying, ‘What if my conviction is from God? Isn’t there a time we take a stand for Jesus?’ Yes, there are times we need to ‘stand in the gap’ but it’s most definitely not a stand for Jesus if it, in the end, produces more division and bitterness than it does unity and love. Sometimes love it tough, but if in the end it’s not producing reconciliation and ends on a sweet note, it’s not a Biblical stand. As I write in my book, Keeping Watch Over Souls, Biblical reconciliation always ends with restoration and reconciliation.
So if you see a lot of divisiveness in and around you, it’s a good sign that the enemy is in control of this area of your life. In the next post, I’ll write about arrogance and how this is also a sign in your life that the enemy is winning.
 Galatians 5:19-24
 Nehemiah 3:1–32