July 20, 2017 by pastorjdo3
15 But if you bite and devour one another,
watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit,
and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Re-Edits of post on PastorJDO3
In this, I want to keep the same body, but direct the focus differently. As highlighted by the title, I want to focus in on the trick of the enemy he has created and executed in our churches; a “consumer mentality”. In general, this refers to those who have the just can’t help it with their financial power. Those who are set on spending every dime, and acquiring every asset. But in this post, I want to look at a consumer mindset from a statement made in last nights Bible Study.
When asked about our behavior in the church, a member said, “It’s like the world! It’s ‘Dog e Dog.'” Imagine that! The church is “Dog e Dog” for some. It’s a place where we can have power, control and authority, and in this, many have marked off their territory and are positioned and poised to defend it to the death (exaggerating; I think).
The 5th Chapter of Galatians, we allowed the 15th and 16th verse to run the first leg of tonight’s’ teaching. Paul addresses in this chapter an important part of Kingdom, its citizens. He writes to handle issues that have arisen in the church, and with a stroke of the pen, corrects bad teaching and bad behavior.
For today’s discussion, I presented to the group the illustration of a freshly prepared hamburger. It exist whole, without a bite. The burger, fully in tact consist of many layer, and holds in it a varying level of content. In this, it is placed into our hands to handle as we choose. Now of course, our flesh and stomach need and are designed to consume, but today we took our discussion to the Spiritual.
The first question asked was: “How is a burger consumed?”
The answer of course is “One bite at a time!” These bites can vary in size, ranging from small to large, they can come from any angle, can be taken in a short amount of time, or a long amount of time, but with each bite, that which was whole begin to disappear. Paul wrote a warning to the Body of Christ, “if you bite” he warns, soon you will “consume…one another.”
The next question asked was: “Who have you taken a bite of?”
Paul warns us, bites take away from us and lead to consumption. Someone are simply being eaten alive by those who are in the fold and not walking according to the flesh. Mature or Immature, healing from wounds takes time, and some bites are just fatal! Permanent damage can be caused by one bite. Furthermore, those entering your church from previous church homes are sometimes lead to new fields, and other times are escaping hurt and looking for healing and peace and are often one bite away from staying home.
Paul says while some suffer from “bites” others are “devoured”.
Have you devoured anyone?
How is it that we can destroy those God has sent, stitching the bond of peace afforded to all of us through the blood of Christ and the unity of the Spirit? Our lack of restraint towards one another can cause those in our midst not to question God’s existence, but if God exist in the place they have become a part of. This is important because many times we label those who fall away as non believers, but in reality, they are questioning not God’s existence, but rather if He exist in our churches.
How many people have you devoured? Who’s at home licking their wounds? Who’s exploring different horizons? Who’s falling away from the faith because of you? Sadly, only God knows. If only there was a way to tell! Maybe each member should come with a profile like Black Ops:
Maybe less people would be consumed if each member was forced to post their personal level, and the amount of kills they have? What ashamed that new people become casualties and build up the body count of those who are familiar with the map, and use the innocence of those entering to boost their ranking by killing them before they even learn how to use their weapons (yep, I’m still bitter!!!).
Maybe not! There is no way to list or track the bodies laid to rest. Most simply fall by the wayside, and never speak of it again. They walk away, and are casualties of the flesh that has orchestrated and promotes and perpetuates this “consumer mentality.” Lord forbid that our houses of worship exist as war zone for the immature, jockeying for position, and searching for significance, while destroying lives and the Kingdom one bite at a time!
This jockeying is not new. The disciples talked about it. James and John put in their request. And this “consumer mindset”, Jesus addressed when He walked into the temple with a hand fashioned whip and cleared it out! My house will be a house of prayer He declared to those who had lost focus, and begun to build a body count via the church cheating and mistreating people. How can you love Me who do not see, and hate your brother whom you see every day? As He spoke in Revelations, we see that He will address the church and us as Shepherds for how we rule and manage His Temple. We must address the “consumer mindset” which is simply un-crucified flesh.
Paul says, don’t “gratify your flesh”! Yep, there is nothing good within us, and every once in a while, the desire to bite happens. The old man fights his way back in the picture and begins warring for control of your limbs. He plants thoughts in your mind as to how you should respond, and how you should act, what you should say, and how it should be said, but Paul says resist! “Walk by the Spirit” he says. Control that which remains dormant in you by continually submitting to the God that is in you! Just because you have the thought, doesn’t mean you have to follow its suggestion. It’s just that, a suggestion. Unwise counsel given from an unwise source, whom desires to wound as many as he can from fire within the camp. The devil hinders the growth of the Kingdom through those of us who continue fulfilling the desires of the flesh, allowing the old man to once again lift his hands in victory. Yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit and allow His guidance to keep you from biting and devouring your fellow brother and sister. Kingdom depends on it!