Why God’s One Church Is Better Than Our 33,000 Christian Denominations

Have you ever stopped to think of the power of ONE? After having one of my enlightening convos with God where He seems to download insights into me about random subjects, I began to have an appreciation of the power, significance, and benefits of the number 1.

Because zero has no value, 1 is the first number of value. There is always something special about being the first. The bible talks of how being the first born is a coveted position for a child to be in. Number 1 is also the simplest number. When you think of monogamy, which basically means a one woman marriage, you can already know that compared to a polygamous marriage, it will be much simpler. Also think of a couple with an only child vs. a couple with sextuplets. Life is much simpler with singles.

One also signifies wholeness. One is a whole number. It has no division, no dissension. But think of a fraction. 1/2, 3/4, and 5/6 are fractured numbers; they are no longer whole. You know that 1/2 is missing a half, 3/4 is missing a quarter, and 5/6 is missing a sixth of its worth. But one is missing nothing.

Throughout the New Testament of the Holy Bible, we see that God desires ONENESS in the church.

1 Corinthians 1:10-13 – I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you AGREE, and that there be NO DIVISIONS among you, but that you BE UNITED in the SAME mind and the SAME judgment.

Philippians 1:27 – Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in ONE spirit, with ONE mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel

Ephesians 4:4 – There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call

Philippians 2:2 – …complete my joy by being of the SAME mind, having the SAME love, being in FULL ACCORD and of ONE mind.

Matthew 19:3-6 – The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

We can see from the above bible verses that God desires for Christians NOT to divide ourselves. And what is division but separating a whole thing? Think of divorce for example. The bible asays that what God puts/cleaves together (a husband and a wife in marriage), let no man put asunder. It says the TWO shall combine into being ONE flesh after marriage. It says that they are no more TWO SEPARATES, but are now ONE WHOLE UNIT. The word asunder means “torn apart” or “divided”. When a couple divorces, both parties will tell you that they feel fractured, they feel as if their lives have been torn apart. There were ONE, but are now not two wholes (until God restores them), but they are two HALVES of a previous whole.

God made the church WHOLE. He only made ONE, WHOLE church. He did not establish two whole separate churches. And He also did not create two church halves either. Just the one. But it is said that the CHRISTIAN religion has anywhere from 33,000 to 38,000 denominations!

A denomination means a group of people who have the same religious/biblical/spiritual beliefs. So that means that from the time the church was first established about 2,000 years ago to this date, the one church disagreed thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands of times. Now of course, some of these disagreements were very minor. All of the Christian denominations ought to be believing in Jesus Christ as our only Lord and Savior and hopefully they all believe in the truths of the Holy Bible. But it is still disconcerting that we can all be reading the same ONE bible (even with its different versions and translations), and still come up with up with over 30,000+ interpretations of certain doctrine. One really is a simple number! Much simpler than 38,000!

Matthew 16:18 – And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Let me tell you what I think Satan hates about the number 1. As we know, Jesus created one church. He did not say in Matthew 16:18 that “upon this rock I will build my churchES; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against THEM.” He said CHURCH and IT. The lack of plurality denotes ONENESS. And as Jesus said, the gates of hell cannot prevail against His one church. But is does seem as if Satan is coming against the church quite heavily. He is making a fool of many church denominations it seems. He is causing us to lose our credibility it seems. Why is it so easy for him to do this?

Well, another important thing about ONE, is that it is very POWERFUL. There is power in an army of one. As we know, ones add up. Some people may disparage receiving 1 cent and 1 dollar because they are the smallest units of American currency. But when you combine a lot of pennies, you can have a dollar. And when you combine a lot of dollars, you can have a billion! But ONLY when they are UNIFIED. So when every Saint/believer/Christian comes together, we have so much more than we have separate or divided. Over 2 million of the world’s population identify with the Christian religion. But we are so divided. And not only are we divided, but we are also WEAKER. If a couple is married and both combined have a billion dollars, they are both billionaires. But if they divorce one another and split all the money down the middle, they become millionaires. A millionaire doesn’t have as much spending power as a billionaire does!

So when a large group of people with a lot of power begin to divide many times over, it results in a lot of weaker people. It seems as if the church has lost its effectiveness when it began dividing. If you split a one in half, it has HALF its former power. If you split a church in half, it will have half of its members which means it may have HALF of its gifts. One half of the church is robbing the other half of the church of its gifts, and vice versa. When the Baptists are competing with the Church of God in Christ, and the Reformers are debating with the Church of Christ, and when the Apostolics are arguing with the Methodists, we are robbing each other of the other’s “power”. We know that God has let THE church know what His will is for us to do on the earth. But no one denomination has ALL the answers. So if we unify in some manner, we can have access to all the answers God wants us to have for this time.

I am not pushing an ecumenical agenda where we pretend that every denomination is 100% right just so that we can combine with a clear conscience. But what I am trying to do is bring awareness of a very simple concept and dynamic of God’s which is the power of ONE. ONE has more power, effectiveness, resources, gifts, unity, etc. than 33,000. So many believers are so making enemies and competitors of other believers that they aren’t focusing their attention and efforts on those who need Christ. When separated we can’t do the work that we can do if we are one.

John 13:35 – By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Now I am not naive to the fact that many churches create denominations because they are CONVINCED that another denomination has many false doctrines. And who wants to be under a denominational name that is known for poor bible interpretation and unbiblical practices? And so many denomination leaders branched off to identify their organization as THE organization with the TRUTH with 100% of God’s “backing”. But is that not arrogant? If you are the ONE TRUE church, you don’t need any name other than “church” because you are the one true church. If Christians would truly seek God’s will and only interpretation of the different bible questions we may have, He’ll only give ONE answer. So obviously, we’re not seeking Him as we should. Instead we assume our interpretation is the one, right one and that everyone else is deceived and lost until they adopt our beliefs.

We need to stop majoring in the minors. Let’s love one another and accept one another. The verse above tells us that the WHOLE WORLD can know that Jesus is real and that He has real disciples if we love one another. But when they turn on the tube and see that Christians act hatefully to one another, they laugh at and deride Christians everywhere. They can’t believe in Jesus because they have no witnesses (no disciples) to observe acting Christ-like. Two billion of the world’s population identify with Christianity, but there is little unity amongst us. No wonder the world is confused.

No one denomination has it ALL together. Every one is doing something unbiblical. But let’s be unified in love and our belief in the God of the Bible – YHWH has being the only one holy, true living God and Creator of all and in Jesus (Yahushua) in being the one mediator and Savior and Deliverer and Messiah of all those who believe and apply the gospel message! Let’s not major in the minors. Let’s be unified and gain back the power and effectiveness that the church had in the beginning.

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Five Necessary KEYS to Unlock Just About ANY Door

Have you ever stopped to think about keys? What are they for? I’m not talking about keys as in wise principles that one would do wise by which to govern his or her life. I’m just talking about the natural keys like those on a keychain. What do they do? When you find this out, you’ll know how important it is to have and to apply the keys to success to your life.

While having one of my intriguing talks with God, this subject came up. And I thought to myself about what keys are for. Keys are for unlocking locked doors – not just doors, but only locked doors. Keys denote access granted to an area where access is often denied for most others. If you have a family living in your home, you likely have a few keys for JUST the older family members. You want THEM and JUST THEM to have access to the area which is your home. You want JUST THEM having access to the objects and amenities in the home. You don’t give a key to your home to EVERYONE WHO ASKS .

Why is that? Why are there locked doors in buildings? Why are there car locks? Locks are meant to keep access to a minimum. Locks are meant to keep MOST people out. Locks are meant to keep important things safe within a confined area. Locks keep things as they were when you first left the car and home. Locks give you peace of mind that while you are in the store, your things will still be in your car. That while you sleep, no one will have stolen all of your furniture when you awake in the morning. That while you are out of the office, no one has gone through your confidential paperwork. Locked doors have a purpose.

And so because locks are so important, we know that we must have certain keys to have access granted to certain things. Well, there are certain places in God and in ministry and in your career and in your love life that you want access to. There are certain places you want to go and certain things you want to do and particular people you want to meet. But you will NEVER get there without certain KEYS. Not talking of natural keys here, but talking of behaviors and personality characteristics that you must have to get to certain places. NOTHING ELSE will get you in that locked place BUT a key.

Let me share with you a perfect example that happened recently. This past Sunday morning, I invited my guy friend to my church. But he was very sleepy from the night before. (And he also happens to be the HEAVIEST, DEEPEST sleeper I know. He can lay his head down and close his eyes for a few seconds and he will be out COLD.) Well, I invited this same guy to my church and so I came by to pick him up. His phone calls were not working, so I text him. I do not have a key to his apartment. I beat that door like it stole something. I even kicked the door. I waited outside on the steps. I grew very angry. I prayed that God would miraculously awaken him. I even prayed that God would give him the urge to urinate so that it would wake him up and give him a chance to check his texts. I even called the dead phone a few more times in hopes that maybe the phone would begin to work for me. Ask me if any of these things were successful in opening the door for me…

A C C E S S   D E N I E D !

I couldn’t arouse him with a loud, blaring phone ring. God didn’t wake him up for me. He lives on the third floor of his apartment building, I assure you guys that I kicked and hit that door so hard that I KNOW I had every neighbor in the first, second, and third floors peeping out of their peepholes frightened as to what was this loud beating sound on a door. No matter HOW bad I wanted to get in that apartment, that guy would not wake up to unlock the door. I even thought that maybe he was avoiding or ignoring me because he did not want to go to church. I thought that maybe even he had passed out. I even grew afraid that he might have died in his sleep. THAT is how hard you can know that I was knocking and praying for him to open that door!

Now I’m sure I sound desperate and crazy to you guys now, but I believe God let that experience happen to me for a reason. Even as I drove off to church ALONE, I said to myself, “Mistye, God let this happen for a good reason.” But I had no idea it was so that I could have a great anecdote to put in my note about keys to successful living!

(Side note: The good news is that the guy eventually woke up and we found a later church service to go to that same day.)

I say all that to say this, NO MATTER HOW BADLY I wanted that door to be unlocked for me, it would never unlock just because I did not have a key. There was no way I was going to be let in from within apparently, so it would require me having a key to get in.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are some things you want to do in God that you will NEVER get without keys. I don’t care how badly you want it, I don’t care how much you pray for it, I don’t care how much you wait for the door to be unlocked, I don’t care how much you scream, I don’t care how much you knock, and I don’t care how much you cry; you will NEVER get in without the keys in certain situations. So without further ado, let’s hop into some keys that I will include in this note:

1. Diligence/Consistence – When you are diligent in how you operate DAILY, people see that. They may not comment on it to you, but they are watching. And when an opportunity arises, and they are looking for someone to upgrade to the next level, who do you think will be chosen? A diligent person or a person who is riddled with inconsistencies? The person who never calls in sick, or the person who calls in every 4 days? If you cannot be proven dependable on a lower level, who will trust you with harder tasks on the next level?

2. Obedience – Obedience is key! People want to know that before they let you through the door to the next level, that you will continue to be obedient to their wishes. If you will not obey the rules of coming in to work on time at a lower position, then why would they promote you to be in a higher position with more responsibilities? You don’t respect their wishes at level 1, you REALLY won’t respect their wishes at level 3. And that is why you will remain at level 1.

3. Politeness/Manners – In most professions, the friendlier competitor will beat the unfriendly competitor. If you are unfriendly with the interviewer, and the other interviewer laughs, smiles, and compliments the interviewer, all other things being equal between the two, the friendly person will get the job offer. Stank attitudes will keep you at stage one. Just smile even when you’re sad! Just laugh at the jokes, even if they’re corny! Just give them a compliment when you see they’re trying even if you’re not impressed. Who gets more tips? The rude waitress or the courteous one?

4. Humility/Easy-Going/Forgiving – It is key that you must let some stuff go. You must forgive and forget some stuff before God elevates you. If you get offended by someone stepping on your shoe, do you really expect God to call you to Africa to do missions where you may face REAL and intentional attacks, natural and spiritual? Christians, we must be able to let some stuff roll off of our backs if we ever hope to be used in a mighty way in God. This here key is important to me because everytime someone did something I didn’t like, I would leave their church or quit the job. And you can never advance in an area that you abandon. And so God is teaching me how to agree to disagree while enduring a challenging situation. And while I endured, I got elevated. If Satan can keep convincing you to hold a grudge against people, you’re burning the same bridges you need to cross to go on to success. It doesn’t always matter if you’re right and if the person should apologize, the key isn’t “be in the right”, the key is to humble yourself and forgive and be easy-going so that you can be the bigger person and transcend the offense so that God can use to on a higher level.

5. Integrity/Trustworthiness – As I said in Key 1, people are watching you whether they inform you of it or not. People are DESPERATE for people they can trust. They know that there is a shortage of people with integrity in this world today. And as I said, locked doors are to keep UNTRUSTWORTHY people OUT and to keep valuable stuff IN. And so of course an immoral, deceitful person can not be trusted with access to a locked door. Make up in your mind today to live a life of integrity. SHOW people that you can be trusted with their valuables. And once you get the access, don’t betray them, but keep your integrity because it takes a long time to gain someone’s trust and mere minutes to lose it all forever. Do right even when you THINK no one is watching, and you will be elevated in due season!

If You’re Good at Making Excuses, You Can’t Be Good at Anything Else

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin

One of Satan’s most effective devices that he uses against Christians is E X C U S E S. And he often disguises these excuses as “good reasons”. If you give me enough time to give you good excuse, I can talk you out of doing ANYTHING. Just imagine how powerful Satan can be against the Saints if he can just get us to stop doing stuff for the kingdom?

This device of Satan has turned me into the Queen of Procrastination. Ask me what my dreams are, and I can tell you them all. But then ask me why I haven’t gotten started on them, and soon will come an onslaught of excuses! I hate to keep saying, “The Devil made me do it,” but don’t think Satan won’t do whatever is in his limited power to stop you. He has no problem whispering little excuses in your ear to prevent you from executing God’s will on the earth and even from carrying out your own personal dreams.

Take me for example. I want to be a Christian family and marriage counselor. I love learning and talking about interpersonal communication and relationships. I love watching the dynamics between two persons. I’ve been interested in this for a long time. I love seeing people become more intimate in their relationships with others. So this is one of my dreams.

B U T…

You had to know that an excuse NOT TO DO was soon to follow. When I ask myself why I haven’t begun to pursue my dreams by applying to a college, applying for FAFSA, and taking the GRE if need be, I come up with a lot of seemingly GREAT excuses! I don’t settle for okay, decent, or good excuses, I only want GREAT ones. Here’s some of the ones I “like” to use: #1 If I do become a marriage counselor, who’s gonna want counseling from me? I’ve never been married before!” #2 I’ve been studying tough for the GRE, but that math section has me beat. What’s the use in taking the GRE if I’m just going to fail it? I should only take the GRE if I know I’m going to make a decent score on it. #3 Master’s level programs often require one or two recommendation letters on the application. I don’t know who would want to do a recommendation letter for me! #4 And since I would prefer to go to a Christian university, they will likely ask for an official of my church to write a recommendation letter for me. Well, I haven’t served faithfully in my church, so I have no one to write a letter for me. So the college wouldn’t accept me anyway!” #5 I just signed a year-long lease and the school I want to go to is out-of-town. So that means I have to wait a year before I can get into school anyway. #6 I just got this new job, and I want to pay off my two credit cards before I rack on yet more debt from a SECOND degree’s tuition. I haven’t even paid off my Bachelor’s degree student loans yet! I should wait until I pay off some more debt. #7 I don’t want to waste anymore time in the wrong field. I already wasted four and a half years in a major that I don’t even want to work in. What’s the use of going to school to potentially waste two more years? #8 You know the news had a story about how so many people have graduate degrees and are yet finding that there are no jobs for them in this economy. What’s the use of going back to school then? To get in more debt? To waste more time?

“Several excuses are always less convincing than one.” – Aldous Huxley

You guys, the list goes on and on and on. Just ask my friends and family. They will tell you that I keep on coming up with a very rational, yet very useless excuse NOT TO DO.

Here’s the thing about excuses, guys. After I repeat all seven of those excuses to myself over and over again, guess what? What has all those “great reasons” done for me? Did any of those excuses get me what I wanted? Did any of them change my life for the better? Absolutely not. After I recite my favorite excuses, I’m still left in a career I dislike at a job I don’t want to work at with a degree I don’t need.

Satan makes you think that using his great excuses will make you happier where you are in life. He wants you to think that if you keep applying his excuses, you will be content with your decision not to get into the ministry, with your decision not to go back to school, with you decision not to get training for a different job, with your decision not to apply for the promotion, etc. But this is not true! You’re still probably miserable! I’m not saying that contentment and appreciation for where you are in life right now is a bad thing, but what I’m saying is that no amount of great excuses will make you feel any better about something you already dislike. All excuses do is postpone your dreams. You’re still going to want to achieve those SAME dreams, even if you wait a year to start on them or even a decade. And waiting to begin will only make it harder on you because the things that are easier for a single, childless, mortgage-less, career-less 20 year old is MUCH harder to achieve for a 40 year old married mother of five children who is already ten years into her displeasing career and only ten years into paying off her thirty year mortgage.

Let’s apply this to dating relationships. Satan will give you so many excuses NOT to marry. #1 You know the divorce rate in America is 50% #2 You know they say that so many African-American men have HIV because they are closeted homosexuals who will only use his wife as a cover to make him look heterosexual. #3 You know people aren’t faithful in their marriages anymore. He’s going to probably have three affairs on you after you get old and saggy. #4 Watch him flip on you during the honeymoon. Sure he looks sweet now, but he’s gonna get like Ike on Tina on you soon after you marry him. So don’t get tied to him in a marriage. #5 (Here’s a funny one) The world is going to end in a few months or few years anyway so just stay single and focus on ministry work.

“It is wise…to focus your energies on answers – not excuses.” – William Arthur Ward

I’m not suggesting you rush into a new career or marriage, but I suggest you seriously think about these “great excuses/reasons” you hear popping up in your head. Ask yourself did they likely originate with God or Satan? With insecurity or confidence? With fear and doubt or trust in God? If Satan is giving you fearful reasons not to do, then it is because he is afraid of the success that is to come in your future and so he desires to stop you. Hear are some words of wisdom that I have heard a while ago which I have never forgotten: The purpose of fear is to stop you. It wants to stop you from dreaming, achieving, applying, trying, interviewing, speaking, etc. So one way you can know that Satan’s device is at work is if fear is your motivator. If you’re not going to do something, let it be because it’s the wrong thing to do, because God doesn’t want you to do it, because it is a bad idea/bad decision. Don’t let it be because you MIGHT fail, because you may be embarrassed, because it may cost a lot of money, because it may take longer than you think, etc. EVERYTHING MIGHT fail, is that a reason for everyone to stop moving? Everyone who became a doctor or lawyer had great chances of failing in law school or med school. They had high risk of failing the LSAT, MCAT, and bar exam. But there are SO many lawyers and doctors out there! So what if all of those doctors and lawyers had said in their head, “What if I don’t pass the test or class?” Then we would have a scary world devoid of lawyers and doctors! So scratch that excuse out. EVERYTHING that EVERYONE does has the potential of failing. But some people don’t use that excuse to stop trying, so why do should you think that it is okay for you to use an excuse that did not work for others?

I believe that God will use me in the ministry to a fair extent. I believe that I will lead thousands to Christ as was prophesied to me. I believe that I will give hope to so many people with the messages, insights, wisdom, and revelation God has been blessing me with over the past several years. I am excited about what God is going to use me to do for Him in the ministry. So I’m preparing for whenever He needs me. And so because Satan is threatened by the damage that I can evoke in his kingdom, he is sowing an excuse here and a reason there to get me NOT to do. A reason NOT to get into the ministry. An excuse NOT to go to theological seminary. An excuse NOT to open my mouth and say what God gives me to say. He reminds me that I am a woman and that many Christians don’t want to hear God’s message coming from a woman. He reminds me of my age and that many ministers began preaching a younger age than me. He reminds me of my fear of public speaking so that if I am offered an opportunity to speak, I will try to talk myself out of it. He reminds me that I talk too fast and that in times past I have stumbled over my words and stuttered when I was very nervous. He reminds me that I’m introverted. None of these excuses say that ministry is a bad idea, it just tries to scare me out of ministry.

Let the rewards of reaching your dreams motivate you more than the excuses of how bad failure may feel to you. Refuse to take anymore of Satan’s excuses. For every excuse Satan gives you not to do something, give him two happy reasons why you should. If he tells you that you shouldn’t get pregnant by your husband because the world we live in is so perverted and dangerous, tell him that you would love nothing more than to lavish all your love on and raise a child of your own. That you find it so exciting to raise a child up in the fear of the Lord and help that child to be successful and impactful in this world. Now which sounds more exciting? Not having a baby or having a baby? Yeah, the world is full of child molesters and gun-toting schoolmates, but what does that have to do with the joy of raising a child? Don’t let Satan’s fears prevent you from walking in the rewards of your carrying out your heart’s desires!

“Bad excuses are worse than none.” -Thomas Fuller

Five More of Satan’s Devices of Which Not to Be Ignorant!

This is PART TWO of my blog note on “Satan’s Devices of Which Not to Be Ignorant”. I had the first six devices in that note, and here are FIVE more. Please refer to that note for the intro which is at this link: http://wp.me/p21nNI-9T. No need for me to retype it here!)

F O R G E T F U L N E S S

One of Satan’s devices that he uses most effectively against believers is “forgetfulness”. There are two things that Satan tries to get believers to forget. #1 – The battle is already won because you are on the winning team, God’s team. And #2 – He wants you to forget the many battles that God has already won on your behalf in many times past. If he can get you to forget those two things, he can cause you to either BE defeated or to FEEL defeated. And sometimes perceived defeat is almost as bad as actual defeat. For example, imagine that you are 20 years old when your doctor tells you that because of your current state of health, it’s only a matter of time before you die. And then you live to age 90 all the while thinking every day of those 70 years that you have just days left to live. Even though the doctor was not telling the truth, the fact that you lived 70 miserable years made you live a defeated life – even though it was a long-lived, DEFEATED life. Satan can have you thinking that you are doomed, damned, and defeated every day of your life when all the while you are winning and blessed from the very beginning!

You need to know that in this life – if you are a believer – you are a winner. You are a winner NOT because you are a great fighter, but because you are on the winning team! God’s team cannot lose! So if you are on a winning team, you will win because the team you are on is destined to win. And Satan’s team is destined to lose. That’s common sense. The game was fixed before the world began. God set it up so that He wins and Satan loses. And whoever is with God will win, and whoever is with Satan loses. One of Satan’s tactics is to get you to FORGET that. And when you forget that immutable fact, you begin to walk by SIGHT and not by FAITH. So when it looks like Satan is beating your butt, you forget that you’ve already won and then you concede that you’ve lost. And also, Satan wants you to FORGET that the same God who helped you through similar, previous battles will be the same VICTORIOUS God to help you through future battles. God can’t help but to be victorious. He was victorious in your struggles then, and He will still be victorious in your battles later. If He did it before, He can do it again. Please remember to never forget that Satan’s job is to have you to get amnesia about your predestined victory! The battle is already won. While Satan is over here trying to have you worried and stressed about trying to figure it all out, God has already worked it all out.

“F O O T-I N-T H E-D O O R”  T E C H N I Q U E

Another effective strategy that Satan enacts in the believer’s life is what is known in social psychology as the foot-in-the-door technique. For example, because Satan knows that he can’t directly, flat out ask a Holy Ghost-filled believer to do heroin or murder which will ruin his life, he may try to do this technique in order to increase the chances of you doing a “bigger” sin. For example, door-to-door salesmen may come to your door and ask you to accept a free offer for six months of a free weekly magazine subscription. If they come to your door and say, “Hey, ma’am. Please cancel your subscription of your favorite weekly magazine and buy a lifetime subscription of our similar magazine today instead,” of course, you would say something to the effect of, “No, thanks. I like my current subscription just fine.” But if they’re giving you FREE magazines for half a year, why not? But I hope you wouldn’t be foolish enough to think that the salesman is only knocking at your door to give you free magazines. Of course not! He’s ultimately after getting you to commit the rest of your life to BUYING his company’s magazine after those free six months run out. But he’s wise enough to know that it will take the foot-in-the-door technique to even have a fighting chance.

Satan is wiser than your average door-to-door solicitor. He knows that he will not likely have you willingly and knowingly commit to living a lifetime of sin for him and for the destruction of your flesh and soul. So he will apply this foot-in-the-door technique. He will offer you some bait for free while he slowly pushes open the door later for more costly offers later on. The free stuff he offers you puts a crack in the door, and then later, because you’re already so well-acquainted with his mess, he knows that the next time he knocks, you’ll open the door a little wider. If you let the free magazines in your house for half a year, why wouldn’t you pay a low price for the same magazine you accepted already? Satan knows that Christians are too wise to pay for anything he’s offering, so he’ll make it  a more easily acceptable gift TEMPORARILY. But you better know that he will come back later to get his due. Don’t even open the door! Treat him like you’d treat your local Jehovah Witness or Mormon when they knock on your door early one Saturday morning! Act like nobody’s home!

“M A J O R I N G   I N   T H E   M I N O R S”

Sadly, this one brings down many a believer. You can know Satan is at work when you find yourself “majoring in the minors” (which by default will have you “minoring in the majors”). Do you ever find you or many in your church home or denomination doing this? An example would be this: Does your pastor spend inordinate amounts of time telling his congregation what clothing and accessories and hairstyles to wear? Does he rant and rave every Sunday about men wearing cornrows and dredlocks? About women wearing pants or shorts? About men wearing earrings? About women wearing their hair short? Well that is a perfect example of one who is majoring in minors. Minors in this instance are little, almost insignificant details that have no bearing on one’s salvation. Well, even though these minors don’t bother God much, Satan will have many Christians fixated on minutiae details. I understand why some pastors may TOUCH on this topic. The bible does say in the new testament section that it is shameful for men to have long hair. The bible does say that women should not cut their hair because their hair is their glory and their covering. The bible does say that a woman should not wear that which pertains to a man. (HOWEVER, THAT LAST ONE WAS WRITTEN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT written for Jews under the MOSAIC LAW. This is not for the new testament believer, which is not to say that Christians should cross dress like transvestites!)

But I believe you get my point. God is not in heaven pulling his hair out because a Christian male has dredlocks. And to those of the Church of Christ denomination, Jesus is not dejected and losing His mind because a church used musical instruments in praise and worship on Sunday. And to those of the apostolic persuasion, angels are not mourning because a girl got her split ends clipped. So stop losing your mind over minors! And it doesn’t end there, guys. Satan’s mind is on bigger things because if Satan can cause you to major in a minor, he has likely effectively caused you to minor in a major. What I mean is that if you are spending 99% of your evangelism telling a woman that she needs to wear skirts and dresses to church, then that only leaves AT THE MOST 1% of the time for you to witness to her of God’s love and mercy, of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, and of the work of the Holy Ghost in their unregenerated soul. THOSE are the majors. Most of your speech in soulwinning and disciple-making should be about LOVE, GRACE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS, TRANSFORMATION, REGENERATION, etc. But you don’t have time for the MAJORS when you’re still spending 90% of your time on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Blogger accounts fixating on how Christians should be Calvinists, or on how Christians should renounce all secular music, or on how Christians should be paying their pastor a tenth of their paychecks. Satan is laughing while you are stuck in the minors. Don’t let him win in this regard!

“T H E   S M A L L E R   P I C T U R E”

This here’s a good one that gets a lot of Christians upset with God! How many of you have lost the faith or gotten angry with God because of a bad diagnosis from your doctor, the loss of a loved one, or serious, long-term financial woes? Well, you can know that Satan has unleashed a tactic on you that I will refer to as “The Smaller Picture”. This is the opposite of the common phrase, “The Bigger Picture”. When something catastrophic happens to us, most people IMMEDIATELY take on the smaller picture. We think of only ourselves. We get into a pity party – which is totally understandable. We get disappointed, sad, and wonder why God has allowed such tragedy to hit us or our family. Especially if we know that we’ve been doing all we know to do to please the Lord in our lifestyles. We would understand getting a liver failure diagnosis if we were hard drinking every night at clubs. We would graciously accept lung cancer if we smoked tobacco, weed, crack, and meth on a regular basis. We would cope with losing a husband to another woman if we cheated on him every night. But what to do when you’ve been living holy when disaster strikes?

We have to keep sight of the bigger picture when disaster strikes. We have to remember that God lets nothing occur without purpose. I’ve heard of SO many examples of how God has lead people to change laws or begin support groups or sponsor scholarships after a tragedy has hit them or their family. And these people are your average good citizens who suffer in these ways. And instead of wallowing in their pain as they are expected to do, they turn their suffering into a support group and they turn their misery into ministries. This is because they saw the bigger picture. When they lose a daughter to that daughter’s abusive boyfriend, they find a way to change legislation that enforces stricter laws against domestic violence. When they have a son who is shot to death in the streets, they create a neighborhood watch group to meet weekly to protect the streets. When they lose a mother to cancer, they begin to save money for a yearly scholarship for a child who has lost a parent to cancer. Susan B. Komen did not die in vain, her sister Nancy G. Brinker promised her that she would do everything in her might to end breast cancer forever. Komen’s family has raised so much money for breast cancer research and awareness because of their family tragedy.

Now some people will internalize their pain and just feel sorry for themselves until they die. They will refuse to convert their pain into productivity to help save and extend the lives of others. Don’t let Satan do this to you. Don’t let Satan let you trade in the bigger picture for the smaller picture. The bigger picture makes sense of your pain. The smaller picture makes God look cruel. The bigger picture makes you help hundreds or thousands of others who will go through your current situation. The smaller picture makes you suffer in vain. You pain is not without purpose. God trusted YOU and your family with that tragedy. Don’t let Satan make you undependable to God. God really is relying on you to minister to others who have gone through, are going through, and who will go through your pain.

“E X T R E M I S M”/”R A D I C A L I S M”  D E C I S I O N-M A K I N G

I’m using these two words differently than the political definition you might be used to. When I say extremism or radicalism, I am referring to someone going too far in the opposite direction because of one painful fact that they have difficulty coping with. For example, if a man marries a man because two women he dated broke his heart. Or if a man refuses to ever work another job because he had a bad experience with a boss/coworker/client. Just because of one, three, or even ten bad experiences, some people will go to the EXTREME and make very dumb decision. This is a strategy that Satan uses on believers and unbelievers alike. I know of two unbelievers who were raised in the church but who – because of this satanic strategy and others – have left the faith. Satan had them going to the EXTREME about things. For example, if they know of ONE pastor who was exposed for raping a child, they would make that one offense apply across the board to all other Christian pastors. They would see a news report on the one pastor and would conclude that EVERY Christian pastor must be secretly molesting children. They might have personally known a pastor who misappropriated church funds to buy a Bentley for his own personal greed, and then they would concur that EVERY SINGLE PASTOR in the world is using the tithes and offerings to buy personal objects. And because of ONE PASTOR, they are willing to go to hell.

Satan will have you living a life to the extreme. He’ll let you have one bad experience and will then whisper in your ear some mess that will have you running off the deep end. If you experience a church hurt, don’t get DRASTIC with your decision-making because of it. For some people who’ve been hurt by a Christian pastor, instead of them logically saying, “Man, that pastor was a bad man. He raped someone./He embezzled church funds. I’m glad all pastors aren’t like that. I will try to find a pastor who lives a life of integrity,” they say, “See, that’s why I don’t go to church. ALL them pastors want is to use their members for sex./ALL them pastors do is spend the members money on their greedy lusts. I’ll never set foot in another church again,” It is basically insane to assume that every pastor rapes women or steals money just because one, ten, or even a hundred pastors raped someone or embezzled money. That is how you can know Satan is at the root of it. God nor logic would ever say that because ONE human did something, every human of a similar occupation will do it. Just because ONE Caucasian police officer is racist against blacks and does racial profiling does not mean that EVERY Caucasian cop is racist. Even if you can name 100 racist White cops does not mean that every single White cop that has existed, that does exist, or that will exist will be a racist cop that racial profiles against blacks. If you believe that, Satan is at work in your mind and it is only a matter of time before he brings you down. Don’t allow him to set up shop in your mind with this foolishness. ONE does not translate into ALL. One hundred of a thousand does not translate into ALL. Let’s be rational and shut the devil up. Just because you know of ONE church/pastor that did wrong does not mean that ALL churches/pastors do wrong.

These are just FIVE of MANY of Satan’s devices mind you. Satan has SO many tricks up his sleeve for us! He’s no one-trick pony! He gets creative with his devices. Again, please read the first note for the first six devices that I believe God has been gracious enough to expose to me. And Lord willing, there will be at least two more notes on this topic in the near future. Be blessed, and do not forget these devices!