A tactic to weaken? Isolate by whatever means you can ....then destroy. But watch out because God can use even the most well laid evil plans for good.
"Isolate them and I'll take them down."
The military tactic known as Divide and Conquer (Source: Robert Greene's The 33 Strategies of War) says that by separating the parts of a group you can weaken the opponent. Isolate them from each other and you can sow dissension and division with the goal of bringing down even the most formidable foe.
Divide and you can destroy them. One by one.
Satan must have read the book.
To cull is to separate and isolate one from the group as a means of destruction. This can be a way of controlling the herd but is also used by animals to hunt...to take down the one that is alone and weakened by being separate from the rest.
There is power in the herd. There is power in sticking together.
Satan? He is well aware.
Social distance.....Six feet apart.....Don't touch each other....Don't breath the same air....No group contact....Divide up and stay isolated.....Hide to stay safe.
He knew that bound together we were too strong. The only tactic Satan had to weaken the strong united force that we had become was to separate each one.
Cull, unravel and destroy.
He knows that his time is ticking slowly away and with every second that passes his demise looms closer. He is panicking so, he devised a plan.
I Peter 5:8 says:
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Now, I can just picture this as Satan's direction to the demons who do his work; those who roam the earth seeking the one they can cull out to devour:
"Go and isolate them from each other. If you separate them from the group and it will weaken them. Wait to destroy them one by one. Stop their church services. Prevent them from getting together so you can destroy them when they are alone. Cull out those who don't know to rely on God...those who don't know to look to their Him for guidance....and those who don't have the faith that their God really is in control. Keep it going so that even the strong get tired and turn their focus to the chaos that I'm going to create, get them alone and get as many as you can get."
Like the coward he is.
There is power in a body of believers getting together for study and worship-coming together as a group with one mind and in one accord with our focus on praising the God who watches over us. Satan cringes when he watches and listens as we lift our voices in praise, gaining new knowledge, strength and faith by drinking in the promises of God's word. Satan shudders as he sees us walk out the door of our churches with our heads held high because we have refueled for our mission field.
The author of Hebrews knew this and gave us this warning:
Hebrews 10: 24-25
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
As you see the Day drawing near.
The day? The day when Jesus will return. We are much closer today than when Hebrews was written and that is the reason the world seems crazy...out of control...and Satan is attempting to isolate us from each other in order to weaken us.
Satan knows this verse and has developed a well laid plan to attempt to go against the recommendation written in God's word.
He is culling us for destruction.
I'm strong. Well, I try to be strong. But, I'm finding that it's all starting to wear on me. Isolated? I get weak. The tight knit groups of family members, church members, and friends that I was once part of is slowly drifting apart.
My life is unwinding and I am getting vulnerable to enemy attacks.
I find that in this isolated state, I:
Get Discouraged. I don't feel as strong to handle the things that life throws at me The simplest of disappointments can knock me to the ground discouraged. It's like tripping over a rock when your tired - you are not as alert, as strong or as observant.
Overthink. I'm finding that isolated, I spend too much time in my head. I overthink. The smallest of issues grow and begin to take control of my motivation and focus. I'm now focused on worry and fear which, many times, is unfounded.
Lose Hope. I find that my viewpoint has changed. It has become skewed. My focus is on the bad that is happening around me. The hope of things to come has diminished and the world begins to look sad and dark. The future looks bleak.
That's when I stop and realize that I'm being unraveled by the enemy. Culled out to weaken.
His plan to slowly weaken and destroy -- is working on me.
Bound together we are strong. Each strand, tiny as it may be, gains strength from each other. We hold each other accountable - we remind each other of the sovereignity of the God who watches over us and we watch each other's back for a sneak attack of the enemy.
But in an unraveled state all we have is our personal relationship to God.
Is our faith in Him strong enough to stand? Does our communication with Him happen frequent enough to gain strength? Are we reading His word enough to gain clarity as to the promises He gives us even in our trials? Are we still watching out for each other or are we allowing some to slip away from the group?
Satan's attempt is to unwind and unravel us from each other but God has other plans. He sees it. He can use the plans of the enemy for his own demise. The fire of a trial can be used to build strength that is even more pronounced and melded together than ever before.
It can backfire in the face of the enemy.
An unraveled rope held under the heat of a fire can melt into something that may look different.....but can serve the same purpose and is now stronger than it was before.
The heat and fire of our current trial can meld us together into something that may look different but is stronger than before.
There may be change but our focus remains the same: To share Jesus and see others come to know Him.
God uses the fire of a trial created by Satan to destroy - to accomplish His will. He told us this in Genesis with the story of Joseph:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Satan may have isolated us from each other but our virtual church services are reaching thousands more than our buildings could ever hold. Backfired.
Satan may have wanted to discourage but people are now empathatically reaching out and helping each other by showing the love of Jesus in ways that we didn't before because we were just too busy. Backfired again.
Satan may have tried to skew our focus but our thoughts are now on eternity and that life is delicate. We are reminded that our lives will not last forever and no one is safe. We have to decide now where we will spend eternity. Backfired yet again.
Sometimes the path to strength takes a walk through darkness.
Refuse to be unraveled and culled out....instead use this trial to refuel. Spend time alone with God, virtually spend time with other believers, spend time in His word, use virtual ministries to reach out to those who are being isolated and share Jesus with others reminding them that He alone provides peace in the midst of turmoil.
Watch as God uses evil's well laid plan to work wonders then rejoice as it backfires in the face of the enemy.
Satan's tactic may be fierce but God wins in the end.
My prayer today:
Father God, We recognize the newest scheme of the enemy to destroy us - and that is the first step in fighting back. Our world may look different but we will stand together in unity and refuse to be unraveled. Instead we allow You to work in us so that we will become stronger and more unified than ever so that Your purpose can be worked through us. Open new doors, revamp new ministries and give us new creative ways to accomplish Your will.
Our focus is the same: To share Jesus. We love you. Amen.