Side By Side And Back To Back

by Sheri Schofield

I was on my way home from town the other day. I turned off the highway onto the dirt road,  my eyes feasting on the beautiful valley and mountains ahead. As I passed a clump of willows, two bald eagles rose gracefully into the air, one flying directly in front of my car. I slowed down to give the other one room to fly. It passed over the hood of my Rav4, its giant wingspan as wide as my windshield. The two birds joined each other and slowly soared over the field, looking for mice and prairie dogs.

This was the raven family’s territory. I looked around for the ravens, but they were nowhere to be seen. The week before, they had caught one of the eagles trying to hunt their territory. They had ganged up on him and chased him away. Now he was back with reinforcements. Together, the two eagles owned that field for the day.

It reminded me of the battle Christians are in. Jesus did not save us so that we could coast through life then spend eternity sitting around on clouds playing harps! No. He saved us to join him in the battle for souls. We live on a doomed planet, a planet captured by sin and despair. Jesus came to rescue us and as many others as possible. He gave his life for this purpose! He has asked us to join in the battle to rescue others by sharing the good news, so that others can share in the magnificent blessing of an eternity with God in a place where there are no more tears, no pain, no suffering. A place of peace and beauty.

But that task is not an easy one. Working alone, we are like a lone eagle among the ravens. We spend all our time fighting off the opposition. But when we join together in the work, we become strong. Those who would oppose our efforts lose power over us.

On the battlefield, soldiers often fight back to back. In this way, they are stronger and less vulnerable. The expression “I’ve got your back” comes from the battlefield. Those who do this usually become lifelong friends.

Too often, Christians bicker among themselves, draining spiritual and emotional energy, distracting each other from the battle, leaving each other open to attacks from the devil and his followers. How can we serve Jesus effectively if we are constantly trying to guard ourselves from attacks from other believers?

This was the case in two women Paul knew. Their names were Euodia and Scyntyche. They were working in the church at Philippi. Their focus had shifted inward, toward each other. Bitter words were exchanged. They stood face to face, weapons pointed at each other.

Paul wrote to their church, “Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner, to help these women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News” (Philippians 4:2-3 NLT).

Are you part of a team of believers who are reaching this world for Jesus? Do you have each other’s back?

There’s nothing easy about resolving conflicts. But when we ask God to work, He does what we cannot do. He will make a way for us to work together, side by side and back to back, like we should. And when we do, we will be like those two eagles, harvesting the field together, seeing greater victory in the battle to reach the lost.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me – everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.                                                                                                                 Philippians 4:8,9 NLT

Side By Side And Back To Back – Sheri Schofield on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Sheri Schofield, an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years, has just released her new book, The Prince And The Plan, to help parents lead their children into a saving knowledge of Jesus. Sheri was named Writer of the Year for 2018 at Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, Questions welcomed!

Join the Conversation: Have you experienced an attack from another believer? How did the conflict get resolved? Please share!


One thought on “Side By Side And Back To Back

  1. I often wonder at how hard it can be within the fellowship of the body of Christ. We recently had a huge trauma to our church, when a newly hired pastor and wife campaigned for power by way of attempting to destroy the reputation and ministry of church leaders. I was a target. They are gone now, but we are left cleaning up a real mess. I still struggle with residual anger, but every time I get a thought of them, I give it back to the Lord. I pray that He will open their eyes to the damage gossip and back biting can cause. He loves them. Dearly. And wants them to be effective in ministry–which includes an ability to love others. I continue to remind myself that God is not finished with any of us. Especially me.

    Liked by 1 person

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