Usually crisis brings people together. I remember speaking with a distant relative who fought in WWII. He said that during the war, the whole country came together to fight our common enemy: the Nazi regime. The response to 9-11 was similar. I remember our country coming together to stop the Taliban from doing more damage.
But the crises of 2020 are different. We are a divided nation. The pandemic has divided us. Some people believe we need to open public places faster for our social and economic health. Some people believe we need to shut everything down for our physical health.
The issue of race has divided us. Some people believe that we need to emphasize that Black Lives Matter. Others believe that we need to focus on the message that Blue Lives Matter.
Some people believe that the Republicans are the problem. Some people believe that the Democrats are the problem.
Division. Division. Division.
Why are we so divided?
We have forgotten who our true enemy is.
The apostle Paul explains: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:10-12).
Our enemy is not the person on the other side of the issue. We are not fighting a political, social, or even physical battle. We are fighting a spiritual battle against the devil. And the devil loves to divide. He wants to divide us because he wants to turn our lives into a living hell. Hell is a place of separation, isolation, despair, and hopelessness. And that’s what the devil wants us to experience right now.
So how do we overcome diabolical division? We need to be unified around something bigger than a virus, politics, or even race. Paul told his church in Philippi to be “one in spirit and of one mind” (Philippians 2:2). That means we need to be passionate and focused on the same thing, on Jesus and his kingdom.
We need to be more excited about Jesus’ good news than about this world’s bad news.
We need to be more focused on Jesus’ rule than about who is going to be the next president.
We need to magnify our unity in Christ and minimize the squabbles that divide us.
When we do, Paul says, “Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky” (Philippians 2:15,16). Then the unity of God’s people will stand out in this world of darkness and division.
The devil keeps dividing us. And in some ways, our world is becoming a living hell. But we have a Savior who has given us everything we need to be unified. So let’s come together around Jesus and his good news. Let’s stand together as we fight our one and only enemy. The devil divides, but our God will make us one again.