Breaking the Spirit of Competition

Luke 9:49-50 says, “49And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. 50And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”

John came to Jesus to tell Him that they saw someone casting out a devil in His name, and they rebuked him because he was not with them. Here is a few questions to ask:

(1) Did they rebuke him because they felt like he was wrong, or did they feel entitled because of their position?
(2) Since they were with Christ, did they do what was necessary to cast this demon out, or did they leave this individual bound because they were more consumed with their pride than another person’s breakthrough?
(3) Did they see this as a competition of church vs. church, or did they see the big picture as the kingdom of light vs. the kingdom of darkness?
(4) Did they think they would please Jesus by rebuking someone and rebutting controversial doctrines and false Charismatic actions, or were they seeking approval to verify they did what was right?

Jesus then answers and says, “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” Jesus discerned that the basis of their argument was their pride! It was out of a spirit of competition, which has formed a deadlock grip on this region. We are so busy competing with the church down the road that we have lost focus on the most important thing, and that is winning souls to Jesus Christ. We have shunned people who visit the church because they look different. We want to point out the differences to find reasons to segregate ourselves and be separate in the body of Christ instead of trying to focus on what we have as a common salvation and celebrate it together. We visit other ministries and find reasons to criticize how someone worships God differently from us when people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation will be in heaven. Do not get me wrong: we must mark apostate Christianity, a version that is compromised and divorced from the truth, who is none other than Jesus Christ (Romans 16:17). But this marking does not give us a license to gossip or automatically diminish something that looks and appears different. What matters is that we try the spirits and detect to see if a movement lines up with the Word of God!