Recently I was forced to interject myself into a struggle among a group of the most influential pastors in a country where we serve. The enemy had divided these men and they each at different times told me they weren’t sure it could be resolved.
By the grace of God, these men humbled themselves, repented of their actions, and committed to one another to not allow it to happen again. It was humbling to be a front seat spectator to watching God work.
As I spoke to these pastors, I reminded them that the only real, lasting tool to fix these wounds, and to prevent them in the future, is appropriately using, following, and applying the Word of God.
One of the passages I shared with these men was from Colossians:
But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Colossians 3:8 KJV
As I read this passage something very grave had occurred to me, the enemy had put his tools of destruction into the hands of these pastors and they were using the enemy’s tools against each other: anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech.
Pastors should know better, but so should each of us who profess the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. These “enemy tools” are never meant to be in the hands of the Believer, let alone be used.
I believe this is why Paul emphasized to the church at Ephesus to “put them all aside,” literally lay down, cast off, put apart the tools the enemy has put in your hands.
As I picture this being played out, I envision a crime show, where someone sets up someone else. He takes the gun, he shoots someone, he tosses it in the air to a bystander, who catches it and is left with it in their hand, so that they appear to be guilty.
But instead of just dropping the gun, the enemy prompts us to take more shots. Christians can’t help that we were tossed the gun, but we don’t have to use it. We can toss those enemy weapons away like Paul outlined by committing our thoughts to Him first before we react. And if they can’t pass the test of being committed to God, the thought should be cast aside.
God has given us our own tools that should occupy our hands leaving no room for the enemies. Let it be our prayer as faithful followers of Jesus Christ that no enemy tool will be used in our hand to promote his evil agenda.
Dr. Ronald J. Barnes Jr.
March 14, 2022