In C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, veteran demon, Screwtape, in mentoring his young inexperienced nephew demon, Wormwood, speaks about the fear the satanic kingdom has for the Church. When they look at the Church, they see a Church spread out through time and space, and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners; indomitable— impossible to subdue or defeat.
Their strategy therefore, is to make us take our eyes off the true nature and power of the church and draw our attention to the weaknesses we see in each other, making us disconnect from our power source which is the Church.
At this juncture, some may protest that our power source is Christ not the Church. However, you cannot be rightly connected to Christ, who is the head if you are not rightly connected to his body.
If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother in Christ, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen.1
When you got born again, you became a part of the body of Christ, a body part. God designed the body of Christ, which is the Church, to grow up into the head, who is Christ, by receiving supply from other body parts. We grow because of what each part supplies. I need your supply and you need mine. God also gave us the ministry gifts—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, to equip us for the role he designed us to fulfill.2
Writing to the Corinthians about the new creation in Christ, Paul said:
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.3
We tend to judge ourselves less harshly than we do others. We sin, yet we still consider ourselves Christians because we repent and receive forgiveness. However, we don’t extend the same grace to others. When relating with fellow Christians we must recognize that God is at work in them and they are plugged into Christ. God will use them as a channel of supply to us in spite of their challenges.
When pressure mounts and hurts multiply, we may be tempted to withdraw from the Church. Don’t break ranks, rather understand this strategy from hell and lock arms as one. The local church is a microcosm of the universal one, a local center of kingdom life and a primary location where God commands the blessing and dispenses wisdom and other supplies.4 We are all connected. If you ignore the pain in your toe, it doesn’t matter how great a finger you are, you will not go far because you can’t walk.
Jesus gave his disciples prophetic insight into what he was going to do.
. . . I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.5
We are to arise and shine because our light has come6, but only in the context of what God is doing on earth now which is, building his church. In this time of darkness, there is a place of light and glory, but it is resident in the organism that God is building, the Church. Stay connected.