For the past few days I have heard many cries. There is turmoil in our land. There are no doubts that the enemy is at work to distract, discredit and destroy the work of God in His body. While he cannot accomplish the latter two, he definitely does well at distraction.
Certainly if you are alive, breathing, and reading this you know of several situations in your own sphere where the enemy has broadened or launched an attack.
When Apostle Paul addressed the elders at Ephesus, he knew by the Spirit some of the distress which was going to come upon them. He said in Acts 20:29, “I know after my departure savage wolves will come in among you not sparing the flock and from among your own selves men will arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves.”
Notice the attacks were not from strangers; they were among them. The whole point was to draw them away.
Paul then offered his counsel for what the Ephesian elders should do to fortify and stand during the attacks that would be launched against them.
The first thing he instructed them to do was to be on the alert. (Acts 20:31) This is the same thing Peter told the church which had been scattered throughout the regions. In I Peter 5:6-9 he told the Christians to humble themselves before God, cast all their cares on Him, and then he told them to be sober in spirit and to be on the alert. I believe this is what Paul is saying as well, be watchful.
The next piece of instruction for the Ephesians is in verse 32. He told them that he was “commending” them to God and to His word of grace. Paul was telling the elders that he had placed them in God for safe-keeping. This is what we must do in the body presently. There are those who are being hurt deeply by the attacks of the enemy. Those wounds must not fester but must be dealt with properly. We must place each other in God’s heart for safe keeping. If we choose sides we will protect wounds and they will not heal. Only God can bring about healing for the wounds occurring in the body during this time.
We must place people in God’s heart, not our own. He places people in our heart for us to bring them back to Him in intercession. We cannot heal them; He alone is able to bring complete healing to wounded hearts.
In verse 32 we find the last two words of instruction. Paul told them to keep working so that they would help the weak and also to remember the words of Christ.
We must not stop now. Whatever God has given us to do to further His kingdom is what we need to continue doing! Prayer warriors keep praying. Teachers keep teaching. Prophets keep speaking. Pastors keep tending the sheep. Apostles keep giving oversight to pastors. Writers keep writing His thoughts. Psalmists keep singing His prophetic praise. Whatever your role is do it with all your might! Our lives are at stake!