Since he can’t have a believers soul, Satan enjoys nothing more than turning believers against each other.
A few people have told me recently how they are beginning to lose faith. It’s been different people, in different conversations, at different times over the last few weeks and all of them had the same complaint. They are sick and tired of people, more precisely, Christians, letting them down. Each admitted that the actions, words and lifestyle of many so-called Christians were causing them to lose faith in Christianity itself.
Like many of us, these people have certain expectations of other believers. They expect their believing peers to be honest and direct in their dealings. (That’s reasonable right?) They expect believers to be fair, giving, kind, and patient. (That’s reasonable too right?) While they understand that no-one is perfect, they do expect their fellow Christians to at least strive for some level of perfection that would show that they are different than the rest of the world. After all, that’s what the Bible says we’re do as believers in Christ right?
The discouragement these people feel, due to the actions of other Christians is very real and completely understandable. It is disheartening when people claim to follow the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and yet live their lives in such away that make you wonder who their really following.
But what these dear people may not realize is that while they have every reason to feel discouraged by the lack of integrity in many believers, when they take their eyes off of God and His perfect ways and fixate them onto man and his many imperfect ways, they are actually opening the door for Satan to have a full-blown house party. And boy does Satan love house parties.
Since he can’t have a believers soul, Satan enjoys nothing more than turning believers against each other. If he can get you or I to focus just enough on our brothers and sisters short-comings instead of keeping our eyes plastered on God, he knows it won’t be long before we turn on each other. Soon we will be judging each other, criticizing each other and feeling justified in our bitterness and disappointment with each other to the point of losing our faith. And all the while Satan sits back with his bag of “Flamin Hot Cheetoh’s” enjoying the show.
Mathew 6:21 teaches that where our heart is, that’s where our treasure lies. May I suggest, that where our focus is, that is also where our devotion lies. In other words, if you or I focus too much of our attention on people and their actions, whether good or bad, our allegiance and devotion can very well bend in their direction.
With our eyes focused on people, including Christians, the moment they fail us, and they will, we begin to crumble. We’ll begin to lose our faith because we’ve misplaced our faith in people and not God. On the other hand, when our eyes are fixed solely on God, His Character, His Word and His truth, our allegiance and devotion will be in the right place. Even if Christians act like complete idiots, our faith won’t be moved. We may feel mad, hurt or down right ticked off but our faith, because it’s rooted in God, will not be moved.
In the Message Bible, Hebrews 12:1-3 explains well what should do in order to not lose our faith. “Strip down, start running—and never quit! … Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God… When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
If you find yourself losing faith because Christians are not what they should be, because their actions at times misrepresent everything about Christianity, ask yourself, where your focus is. Is it on people and their actions or is it on God? If you find that it’s on people, strip down, start running and keep your eyes on Jesus.