"I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock." — Acts 20:29
We are sheep, the Lord is our shepherd, and He is not stupid. He has placed undershepherds among the flock — in plain language, pastors of local churches.
Now, how do wolves operate? Do they take on the whole flock? No, they scatter. They divide. They seek out the straggler, the one separated from the flock, the one who is weak and all alone.
Let’s get real. It’s just about impossible to be part of a local church for longer than a month, and not find something to complain about. Like Charlie Brown said, "I love humanity – it’s people I can’t stand." Pastors are human. They will disappoint you. Get used to it. And the rest of the church is just as imperfect as you and I are.
Yet, somehow, in this jumbled up mess, there is strength. Even though we are all stumbling and bumbling at times, God puts us together in a local church, and there we find protection from temptations and troubles the enemy likes to bring.
I know this passage is primarily about false teachers, false pastors, false prophets and the like. But it illustrates something about how the enemy operates. Divide and conquer. The devil is scared of Christian unity because He has no defense against it.
We may see the problems with our church. But God sees the protection that it provides, and He wants that protection for each of us.
Dwight Clough is the author of four Christian books and is an active member of Lake City Church in Madison. This devotional is also available via email and you may review the archives back to 2002. To contact Dwight or Kim, use their contact form. You may also support their ministry.