Combating the Spirit of Diotrophes

The Spirit of Diotrephes

“I wrote unto the church but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words, and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would and casteth them out of the church.” (3 John 9-10)

The spirit of Diotrephes loves to have the preeminence. He strives and wants to be first and to be in control. He wants to be first and to be in control. He wants to be first like Christ is the first, the head (Ephesians 1:22, 5:23, Colossians 1:18). He does not want to receive those who are doing right. He raises false accusations, lying about the brethren. He is not content with that alone. He does not receive the brethren (those that are doing right) and forbids others to receive them. Those that do so are cast out by him. He wants things done his way or he will “take his ball and go home.” There are many like this in our workplaces, towns, countries and the world. They want to push and push to have their way.

      The spirit of Diotrephes is still around today. Many churches have such a spirit today. The spirit goes by many different names, but the actions and attitudes are still the same. This spirit does not walk as the Lord walked (1 John 2:6; Philippians 2:5, 1 Peter 2:21-22) and does seem to know how the Lord walked. The Lord walked in the following ways:

Forgivingly – Luke 23:34
Serving – John 13:1-17 and Mark 10:45
Obediently – Hebrews 5:8-9
Prayerfully – Luke 6:12; Mark 1:35, John 1:17
Courageously – Mark 21:12-13
Zealously – John 2:17, 9:4, 5:17; Luke 2:49
Unselfishly – 2 Corinthians 8:9

What the Spirit of Diotrephes Causes

Diotrephes spirit can and is detrimental to the church. It causes its members to be unhappy. Meanwhile, there is anger and often the devouring of one another (Galatians 5:15-16). Often times the church divides. Diotrephes’ spirit causes stumbling blocks for weak members (1 Corinthians 8:9, Romans 11:9, 14:13, 16:17-18) and causes others to sin (James 4:17). His spirit causes dissension, there is no peace in a congregation where Diotrephes resides. The same in the workplace. Coworkers become unhappy and argumentative. There is no peace there either.

Combating the Spirit of Diotrephes

In preparing to battle Diotrephes we must gird ourselves for battle, putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:17). However, we must also study the scriptures so we know what is right (Psalm 1:1-2, 1 Timothy 4:13, 2Timothy 2:15, Acts 17:11, James 1:22-25; 2 Timothy 2:2, Ephesians 3:3-4). We must stand ready to guard against him and we will do this by using the scriptures having rightly divided the word. By having the word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our way, contending for the faith (Psalm 119:105, Jude 3). Then, by studying the scriptures we will consume the meat and hunger after righteousness (1 Peter 2:2-3, Matthew 5:6, Hebrews 5:12-14). Next, we will then be steadfast in the Lord (Acts 2:41-42, 1 Corinthians 15:58, 16:13, Colossians 2:5) Also, we need to be as one body. As you know the body is fitly joined together, working as one (1 Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:12-16, Colossians 1:18-24).

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