Focus: 2 Cor 12:11-21 The PUSH-PULL!
Strife, contention, jealousy, backbiting, and complaining all come from a heart that is not focused on the target or object of our faith - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. If we allow it, the Bible will prepare our hearts for any situation. In God's infinite wisdom, today, we read Paul's response to the Corinthians when they apparently had some of this going on! From Paul's response, he must have heard that this trouble was directed toward him while he was absent from Corinth, so Paul recites a few points that are designed to call those reading to God's way and not their own. Satan's plan is ALWAYS to deceive - to make one see the faults of another, even when they do NOT exist. When they DO exist, Satan will tempt us to exaggerate their importance. Satan can go which ever way we are leaning. I call this the Push-Pull! Think of a out of control game of Tug of War - where 2 teams oppose each other on opposite sides of a rope each pulling in their own direction. To win is to pull the other team to your side. Right? But suppose the object or rule is changed without your knowledge, not to win by pulling the other team to your side BUT by making the other team fall. You see this is Satan's plan. He takes your focus away from the real game rule and ALL he wants us to do is FALL! He can accomplish this in two different ways. One, he can mount a strong team to pull us to his side of evil; or two, he can hold his side so tightly that when you pull against him (while not staying in control), he lets go the rope suddenly! This causes us to fall backwards. You see, I call this the Push-Pull of Satan! He changes the rule of the game -he just wants you to fall and hurt yourself so that it seems you caused your own downfall! Whether we fall backwards or forward, it doesn't matter to him, as long as we fall! If we get up, he wants us to then blame our teammates and take the focus off the real culprit - ourselves (we were pulling out of control)! This is why I laugh (not in a good way) when I see people come into trouble and IMMEDIATELY look to blame SOMEONE ELSE! Life is a tug of war! The secret is not to pull so hard against the opposite side, it is about pulling WHILE UNDER CONTROL so if the rule or strategy changes all of a sudden, we can accommodate. Sometimes you will pull hard to yourself; other times, you will sense the plan of the other team is to get you to pull your way out of control and you will ease your position to stay on your feet! The carnal or natural man is an enemy to God BECAUSE it is so tempted and seduced by the wiles and pleasures of this world. Winning, competition, and who is in charge becomes less important when we see that the common interests of our struggle is more important than the differences that Satan uses to divide us! This is why Paul later writes that self-discipline (self mastery), controlling one's own carnal nature, through the Spirit of God, is the desired accomplishment while we are here on earth. Angry?Depressed? Frustrated? Look within for your solution by looking up! Praise Him!