About life in general, and life with God specifically.
I recently came upon this quote that read, “Those girls are not your competition. Remember, the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Stand with those girls and fight evil with good.” Does this sound all too familiar to you?
Paul tells us in Romans, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 (NIV)
Euodia and Syntyche
Hearing this quote reminded me of the two women from the Bible in Philippians Chapter 4. Their names were Euodia and Syntyche and they were from the church in Philippi. In Paul’s epistle to the Philippians, he called upon Euodia and Syntyche to live in harmony and reconcile their differences.
Paul states, “Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner [Syzygus], to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.” Philippians 4:2-3 (NLT)
Never again do we come across the names of Euodia and Syntyce in the Bible. However, the quick mention of these two women, in these two verses, speaks volumes. All of Scripture is God-breathed and the Lord has much to show us through this situation.
Losing sight of the most improtant thing
Paul doesn’t describe what actually took place between Euodia and Syntche. But the reason behind their fall out, their broken relationship, and their continued quarrelling doesn’t really matter much when you get down to it. The point is that they allowed sin to crack the door open and Satan was given the opportunity to creep in. In turn, this created chaos and division between the two women. Often anger, bitterness, and resentment can quickly rear its ugly head in a circumstance such as this, and take root in the heart if conflict remains unresolved. Euodia and Syntche, once fellow warriors in the proclamation of the gospel, lost sight of the most important thing – JESUS and telling others the Good News! It’s very possible that they began looking at themselves and at each other. This often creates strife and causes individuals to fight against one another and relationships are sadly destroyed or terribly broken. Soon they forgot that they are on the same side, part of the same team, and aiming for the same goal.
Lysa Terkeurst describes this very nicely when she said, “In God’s economy, people do not stand on opposing sides of the conflict scale. People stand on one side and Satan stands on the other. When we dump into another person’s lives, we are not leveling the conflict scale. We are just weighing down on the side of the scale. Satan loves it when we do his work for him by dumping on each other. The secret to healthy conflict resolution is not a-you-against-me-stance but realizing it’s all of us against Satan. He is the real enemy.”
Scripture is clear when stating, “For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13 (MEV)
A wonderful gift from God
Let us not give Satan the opportunity and the great pleasure of observing us tearing each other down. We really need one another. A church body, a congregation, is a wonderful gift from God as Paul describes it so beautifully in the letter to the Corinthians.
Paul states, “The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part into the exuberance. You are Christ’s body, that’s who you are! You must never forget this.” 1 Corinthians 12:25-31 (MSG)
Don’t fall for the enemy’s lies
So let’s be sure to edify one another and continually build each other up. By using our gifts and talents that we have received from God, we can join forces, come together, and use them to honor and glorify His precious and holy name – this is our purpose – to glorify Him in everything. We must ensure that we don’t lose sight of this through the cunning and deceptive tactics of Satan. We must always be on guard and must always be aware of his wicked ways. Know the Truth so you don’t fall for the enemy’s lies. Do not forget that we are a unity in Him – Our lord, our Redeemer, our King, our Savior Jesus Christ.
In closing, I want to share with you from Philippians 2: 1-4, “Is there any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any compassion and mercy, then fulfill my joy and be like-minded, having the same love, being in unity with one mind. Let nothing be done out of strife or conceit, but in humility let each other esteem the other better than himself. Let each of you look not only to your own
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