Love Casts Out Fear

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:17-19, NKJV)

In 1998 the leader of a prayer group that I attended began sharing with us about the love of God, agape. While I had already learned about His great love for me in that Jesus died on the cross for me while I was still a sinner, what this prayer group leader began sharing with us went even deeper still. I wish I could share it all here and now, and I will delve deeper in future posts as I have in past posts, today I mention this because of a recent experience I had that proved to be life-changing.

I have lived in Texas all my life. My husband and I are on our 5th Texas home, all lovely, all great homes, but each led us closer to our home with a little land which I have always wanted. In all the homes that I have lived in, I have never lived in an area as windy as where we live now. When we see a storm rolling in, often we grab our dogs and quickly run indoors because the wind can pick up fast and crazy in no time flat.

After 2.5 years here we’ve learned to move a smallish metal outdoor table and chairs away from one of the patio windows when we see a storm brewing. The wind has knocked the table and chairs into one of the patio windows in the past and into the yard during several storms. So when we see a storm coming we move them into the yard around the corner from the windows.

A few months ago I saw another storm brewing and the winding picking up. I went outside to move the table and chairs. I picked up the first chair and found myself suddenly in the yard with the chair flying out of my hands and blowing across the yard. It took me by surprise and I thought, “That was kind of weird.” I returned to the patio and picked up the metal table and once again, I suddenly found myself in the yard. The wind had blown me off the patio and the table was now blowing across the yard. My thoughts were, “Wow, that was very weird.” I returned for the second chair. The same scenario repeated with me blown into the yard and the chair blowing end upon end across the yard. I then turned to go indoors and had to literally fight the wind to make it back onto the patio. When I finally made it in the back door, I had to use my full body weight leaning against the door to be able to close it against the extreme wind. Once again I thought, “Wow, that was crazy weird!”

The next day I saw a weather report for our area. The meteorologist said that either a weak tornado or straight line winds had hit our area the day before. So that’s what that was.

Over the next week I often found these words rolling through my thoughts, “weak tornado”. It popped up into my mind so many times, that I finally thought to ask God, “Is there something that You want to tell me about that?” And He did.

He said to me, “Do you want to know why that tornado was weak?”

Me: “Yes, of course Lord.”

God: “It was weak because you did not fear it.”

Then these words were began rolling through my thoughts over the next few days. “It was weak because I did not fear it? I did not ’empower’ the tornado with fear?”

The account from Mark 4 of Jesus and His disciples encountering a storm while out in a boat came to mind.

“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them. ‘Why are you so fearful?…” (Mark 4:37-40, NKJV)

What are you afraid of today? There are many powers that be these days that are stoking the flames of fear all around us. What are you empowering, who are you empowering with fear?

Since this experience I have found God’s words comforting and I have found myself living a life of greater love and a life free of fear.

God’s love does cast out all fear. If you find yourself afraid, draw near to God and learn of His love. It is unconditional. It is patient and kind. It is POWERFUL!

“Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it–because it does….” (1 Corinthians 14:1, MSG)

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NKJV)

If You Have Seen Me

I have spent decades of my life praying for my country. I love the United States of America. It is the greatest country, the most free and diverse land of opportunities. It is a nation that has spent billions of dollars to help less fortunate countries. It is now under attack at its very foundation, so lately I have been praying for her like never before.

A few weeks ago I gathered with others to pray first for many nations around the world, and then to end our days of prayer praying for the United States. During that time of prayer I saw something. I saw in my mind a large stone monument of the Ten Commandments being removed from in front of a government building. I saw the Ten Commandments being removed from classrooms. I saw the Ten Commandments being removed from homes and even some churches. Before the historical monuments were removed, they first removed the Ten Commandments.

I remember hearing people say that the decline of this country began when God was removed from our schools and government. As I prayed I searched for the words to invite God back into this nation. The words that I found caused me to love God even more.

You see laws on a stone monument have never changed a person’s heart. Evil in a person’s heart will not be stopped or changed by a set of laws. We see it everyday as the news is filled with people perpetrating evil in most of the daily headlines. To those who do not already know God, laws on a stone tablet may make them think of a legalistic demanding God. Many think of Him as a vengeful Old Testament God. However, what changed when Jesus came in the flesh?

He introduced us to God as Father. He showed us a compassionate, loving, caring, and merciful Father. So as I prayed I let go of those stone monuments in my heart and I invited God, as Father, back into our schools, government, prisons, hospitals, churches, homes, and hearts.

The people in this nation and throughout the entire earth are in need of a demonstration of the Father’s love. Let’s give it to them. Let it be said of each of us, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”

“Jesus replied… Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” (John 14:9)

“…one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil.” (Luke 11:1-4)

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)


Proverbs 13:12 says that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Last month after twenty-seven years of my hope being deferred, my heart felt broken. I said to the Lord, “I don’t think that I can do this anymore. I don’t know if I can keep on hoping.” His response healed my heart and renewed my faith in Him.

First He took me to Hebrews 11:11 which reads, “Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His Word.” (AMPC)

Next He took me to Romans 4:19-21 which reads, “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” (NKJV)

Then He asked me these questions.

“Do you consider Me to be reliable, trustworthy and true to My Word?”

My response: “Yes, Lord.”

“Are you convinced that whatever I promise I am also able to perform.?”

My response: “Yes, Lord.”

“Then you have faith. That’s all I’m asking you to do.”

My response: “That I can do.”



At first I regretted seeing so many images from the US evacuation of Afghanistan. My head could handle the information and I could act through prayer and donations. However, my heart was struggling with the haunting images. The image of a parent passing his baby over razor wire to soldiers that he didn’t even know, in hopes of saving his baby’s life even if he could not save his own. The people falling from airplanes as they clung to the outside of the plane in desperation. Even now the tears come. The video of one little 10 year old girl after she and her brother made it to safety inside the airport, but who suddenly was brought to tears as they shared that they didn’t know if their parents had made it to safety. The lives lost, both military and civilians who died at the hands of a suicide bomber. The images haunted me. Part of me thought, I should have never looked at all the images and read all the stories. No I didn’t, wish I had buried my head in the sand, but I did wish I had not seen so many images that brought such grief to my heart.

Then Sunday came. My husband Michael and I went to church. Our Pastor, Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Southlake, TX was finishing up on his series entitled Good News. His last message was on death. I highly recommend all the messages in this series.

Even before the sermon, as we sang in worship to God, I started to see the images again. However, in that place, in the atmosphere of God’s Presence, I began to pray. Worship is loud enough there that I don’t think anyone heard me. As I sang I realized that I had brought each and every person that I had seen in those troubling images into that church with me, into His Presence with me and I began to pray for each and every one of them and all the people that they represent. I asked the King of the Universe to intervene.

Then the message on the bad news, sad news, and good news regarding death ministered to my heart and my mind. At the end of every message, Pastor Robert has us bow our heads, close our eyes and ask the Holy Spirit what He is saying to us through today’s message. I bowed my head. I closed my eyes. I asked the Holy Spirit, “What are you saying to me today?” Then came His response.

“They are with Me.”

I felt like He was talking about those that had perished, but at the same time, I felt like He also meant that those still in that horrific situation are also with Him or more so that He was with them.

I will continue to pray for those in Afghanistan and to pray for our leaders as the Bible instructs us. I will carry them with me into His Presence. Place them in His hands and trust Him. Then I will do whatever else He instructs me to do.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For You are with me….” Psalm 23:4, NKJV

I Want to Hold Your Hand

I’ve been reading a book that has really changed my mind. It has actually renewed my mind in a way that has greatly impacted my life as a child of God. The title of the book is WITH by Skye Jethani. I highly recommend it. I will not be sharing much from the book in this post, so this is not the cliff notes or wikipedia for the book. You need to read it for yourself. However, I will say that the ‘point’ of the book is to point the reader to living a life with God as opposed to a life over, under, from, and for God. You should read it.

That one little word, with, makes all the difference in the world as we live our lives in relation to God. Since reading this book, I have endeavored to look at everything before me, moment by moment, not only with God in mind, but with God’s input through my relationship (ongoing fellowship and communion) with Him. I do this not to benefit myself, but out of love for the One Who died for me, so that I could not only live, but live with Him.

Lately, I have found myself saying this, “I want to take His hand and let Him lead me.” My prayer of late has been simply this, “I want to hold Your hand.”

Oftentimes, we get instruction or direction from God, about things He wants us to do for His kingdom and in service to others. Oftentimes, we say, “Yes, Lord” and then take off on our own to do what He asked us to do, but do it in our own strength, our own ability, and our own limited understanding. All our understanding is limited in comparison to His! Why do we do this? We have a God that wants us to partner with Him. He is the God with Whom all things are possible. And more and more these days, I imagine God extending His hand to me and inviting me to walk with Him, through life, through the difficulties, through the good times, and bad.

I think about a parent taking a child’s hand and leading them across a busy street. I think about a parent taking their child’s hand and leading them through a park or a zoo leading them to and showing them all the beauty and wonders. I think about a parent taking a child’s hand just to make a connection through physical touch. I want to hold God’s hand. Yes, to be protected. Yes, to be led to beauty and wonders. But now more than ever, just to remain connected.

My prayer: Teach me how to live With You. Teach me how to take Your hand and walk with You.

I’ve Got To Be Me

I had an ‘interesting’ experience not long ago that challenged me in my ‘love walk’. A utility company had an issue with their billing and I did not receive a bill for two months. I received all my other utility bills and in the midst of other challenges (freak snowstorm in Texas that led to weeks of repairs due to frozen and broken home systems) I didn’t notice that I did not receive my bills. Thus, I did not pay that utility bill for two months.

I realized that I had not received my bills when I came home to find that the utility had been turned off to my home and would not be turned on again until I paid my missed bills. I had no problem paying them. I did have a problem with not receiving my bills and not receiving a notice that my utility would be disconnected.

I rushed up to the utilities’ office to pay my bill, but also to discuss why I did not receive my bills or receive a notice about the disconnection. It started out okay until I was told that my bills were sent and the disconnection notice had been sent. I explained that I did not receive them. That’s when things started to turn ‘ugly’. Well ugly for me. I didn’t cuss. I wasn’t abusive, but I did lose my temper. The person I spoke to was very condescending and very dismissive. I called them out on it. It was not pretty.

I paid my bill. My utility was turned back on within half an hour. All seemed well, except I was still very upset. I called a Christian friend to talk to and try to move past the anger and anxiety. I told her what had happened including calling the person out on being condescending. I said, I usually don’t get that mad and say things like that. She agreed and said, “Yeah, that’s not like you.”

She agreed with me about the situation. She agreed with my response to the situation in light of what happened and how I was treated. What I did and said wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t me.

So a few days later I did something about it. I returned to the utilities office and apologized. Even after finding out that they had a history of not sending bills, or notices, and of disconnecting services over many years. When I apologized, the utility employee was kind and said that it wasn’t necessary because they “get that all the time.” I replied, that “that doesn’t make it right” in reference to my behavior.

Why did I apologize when I had every ‘right’ to be upset? I apologized because even if what happened to me was wrong, I did not want the situation to turn me into someone that I am not.

I try to live a life of love towards all people with His love and grace in my life. Love is patient and kind, it’s not rude or unmannerly… (1 Corinthians 13). I was not patient or kind. Maybe the situation was very unfair and being impatient and unkind was understandable, but it’s easy to love when everything is perfect, when everyone acts fairly, but God’s love is seen best when things are not perfect, when people are not fair. God’s love was best seen as Jesus was tortured and killed on a cross as an innocent man to pay for our sins. God’s love was seen when Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing” as He hung on the cross (Luke 23:34).

Why am I writing about this now? Because these days the challenges to walking in love are more frequent and the seriousness of the situations is ever increasing, especially the last year and the current year. The world is in turmoil.

In Matthew 24 Jesus said, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…”

We are born of His seed. He is love. We are love. Let’s take His hand (His right hand which refers to His strength) and continue to walk in love no matter what the world throws at us.

PS… I didn’t mention what utility was disconnected, because I didn’t want people to figure out who I spoke to. Love covers (1 Peter 4:8)

PSS… I wrote this long past my bedtime so it may contain sloppy grammar, but I was more interested in getting this message out than getting the grammar correct. Maybe I’ll fix it in the morning. Good night.

Satan Shoes

Yes, some of you may be surprised by the title of this post, others may not. I don’t watch or listen to the news, but it’s hard to spend any time on the internet these days and not see a shocking headline that you know has to be untrue, but unfortunately is not. Yesterday I saw just such a headline. It was about a major sports apparel company teaming up with an artist I had never heard of to create a sneaker design referred to as ‘Satan Shoes’ that would include a drop of human blood in them. I just knew it had to be false. So I checked into it.

The company released a statement saying that they had nothing to do with this custom design. The design was an after market change to one of their products. (Update: There are reports that the company will sue for the use of their sneakers in this manner). The rest unfortunately was true and the story was much worse than the little I have shared here. The artist, Lil Nas X, whose given name is Montero Lamar Hill, had also recently come out with a very disturbing music video that involved satan, hell, and other things that I won’t mention. I did not watch the video, I just read the details and that was enough.

So why am I even sharing this? Why am I giving this the attention that this young man was obviously trying to get? I am sharing this because of what God said to me in the midst of this. You see, I was very quick to be appalled, as I should be. I was very quick to judge his actions as sinful, which they were. I was also very quick “to judge, to reject, to condemn, and to pass sentence” on this young man. The quoted words here are from John 3:17 in the Amplified Classic Bible.

As I shared this shocking story with my husband, appalled at what the world has come to, I heard these words rise up out of my heart, “Who wishes all men to be saved…” (1 Timothy 2:4, AMPC). The full scripture says, “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4, NKJV). I then heard that still, small voice speak to my heart, “Pray for him.”

So, Montero Lamar Hill, did get my attention. I will now be praying for him to be saved and to know the truth about the One Who loves Him, the One Who died for him. God gave us a free will. Mr. Hill gets to choose to receive the free gift of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ or not. Until the day that he or I move to heaven, I will be praying for him, not judging, rejecting, and condemning him. I do not approve or support his actions. I will pray for and extend God’s love to the man in my prayers.

“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” (John 3:16-17, AMPC)

Happy Easter everyone. I leave you with this.

“There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ And they divided His garments and cast lots… Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last.” (Luke 23:32-33, 44-46; NKJV)

Good News

It’s so nice to be able to say that I have some good news for you today. After a year of bad news and fake news, let me give you some good news as I continue discussing walking in God’s love in these crazy times.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, walking in love did not come easy at first. I made my decision to walk in love and then someone would do something unkind and I would see just how very easy it is to just go with the flow of anger, hate, and division. What I finally learned was that in my own strength I would never be able to love like God loves and forgive like God forgives. The good news is that He never intended for me to do it in my own strength.

First I made the decision that I would live a life of love, then I realized that the decision that I actually needed to make was to live a life yielded to the operation of God’s Spirit in my life.

“…God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5, NIV)

“…The fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence)….” (Galatians 5:22-23, Ampc)

The fruit which His presence within accomplishes. Think about that for a moment. God sent the Holy Spirit to us for a purpose and He is well able to accomplish what He was sent to do if we let Him. Jesus said of the Holy Spirit:

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7, NKJV)

He was sent to help us and scripture tells us clearly that He is here to help us to live our lives with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

So how do we live a life yielded to the Holy Spirit, with His love and His strength operating in our lives? I will simplify it in these two steps.

  1. Ask God for His Holy Spirit in your life.
    • “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Of if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:9-12, NKJV)
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you.
    • “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Our father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name….'” (Luke 11:1-2, NKJV)
    • “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26, NKJV)

The main point of today’s post is to learn from the Holy Spirit how to live a life of love. However, learning to pray the words “Teach me” to God completely changed my life for the better. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things. I have asked Him to teach me how to walk in love. I have asked Him to teach me how to be a good wife, a good daughter, a good in-law, and a good friend. I have asked Him to teach me how to pray. When a young family member passed away, I asked God to teach me about healing. I ended up ministering healing to the sick for 17 years after He answered my prayer.

We all need God’s help to walk a life of love. The good news is that God will help you with that and He is also wanting to help you with so much more if you will just ask.

Love Your Enemies

“But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.’” (Matthew 12:25, NKJV)

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48, NLT)

Voices, voices, voices, everywhere! They are on the television. They are on the radio. They are on the internet, on internet news sites, and social media. They are the voices of some of our friends, family, and co-workers and they all seem to be chanting the same mantra, “It’s us against them.” These words are seeds being planted into our hearts and minds if we let them and the seeds being sown, the harvest they seek, is hate.

They want us to hate someone because of the color of their skin, black or white, hispanic, or asian, etc. They want us to hate people who don’t agree with our politics, our religion, our medical and our educational choices. They want us to hate someone that has more money than us or less money than us. They want us to hate a particular political leader whether on the left or the right. Why? Because if they can get us to hate, they can divide and conquer.

I’ve seen it as a political ploy one too many times. Focus the hate on one person and make it all about that one person. I get the texts, the emails, the mailings, “Can you believe what so and so person is doing now?” To my Christian friends, I want to remind you that we battle not against flesh and blood and if you are focused on one person or people of a particular race or party, you have been brought down from your influence in the heavenly realm and down to an earthly, soulish battle that you will not win.

For seventeen years I visited and prayed with people who were battling illnesses and disease. As we prayed, time after time, we would find the origin of the disease in the person’s emotional state. Fear caused all kinds of physical and mental issues. When the emotion was hate, those illnesses both physical and mental became amplified. We were created in God’s image. God is love. We were created to love and be loved. When we hate it goes against our mental and physical ‘wiring’ and things go wrong, both mentally and physically and as we are seeing so clearly now things go wrong societally as well.

In his book, Deadly Emotions by Don Colbert, M.D., Dr. Colbert discusses the link between negative emotions and disease. Some of the ‘deadly emotions’ he discusses are anger, hostility, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, self-hatred, anxiety, and repressed anger. Some of the diseases that can be triggered by these emotions are hypertension, coronary artery disease, autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, panic attacks, mitral valve prolapse, heart palpitations, tension and migraine headaches, chronic back pain, TMJ, and fibromyalgia to name a few.

Have you ever noticed how consuming hate can be? And who does the hate affect the most? The person that is doing the hating. Yes, their actions will affect others, but in the middle of the night when they are all alone, that hate is destroying the hater, both physically and mentally.

Why do I say all this? Because I love you. I love every person that is reading this post. How do I know? Because I have chosen a life of love over a life of hate. I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I may not agree with people, I may not even like certain people (usually because of their actions), but I have chosen to love all people. Why? Because hate will never change the world for the better. Love will.

Once again, I can’t control whether others love me or not, but I can control whether I love others or not. Living a life of love did not start out easy, and occasionally a person’s words or actions can challenge the decision I made to love everyone, but then I remember a few things. I remember the damage it can do to my mental and physical health. I remember that it will only hurt me and others. I remember that good or bad God loves them. He may not like their actions either, but He sent His Son Jesus to die for them, who am I to hate someone He loves.

This doesn’t mean we don’t rise up against injustice or stand up for what’s right. We can hate evil without harboring hate in our hearts towards any one person or people group. What it does mean is that as we love our enemies, pray for them, and do good to them we look a little more like our heavenly Father each time that we do.

We are surrounded by those voices sowing seeds of hate, but we can be those that sow seeds of love that bring healing to our own lives, to the lives of the people we influence, and to our communities, ultimately affecting nations.

United we stand, Divided we fall

So we’ve just left the hardest, strangest year we’ve experienced in our lifetime. Everyone was looking forward to leaving it behind and moving into a new year. This new year hasn’t gotten off to a great start either. What is going on in our world? There is so much to say about that, but today there is one aspect of our current struggles that I want to discuss today.

“But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.'” (Matthew 12:25, NKJV)

One of my greatest struggles in all this chaos has been to witness such deep divisions throughout the earth. Divisions based on the color of our skin; divisions based on masks, no masks, lock downs, no lockdowns, vaccine choice, mandatory vaccines; divisions based on financial status, rich, poor, middle class; divisions based on which candidate you support, which political party you are a part of, what country you live in; and divisions not only between believers in Christ and those who don’t believe in Him, but even between believers themselves.

My heart grows heavy when I think of all the division. We are all in this together. Everyone of us went through 2020. Everyone of us is going into 2021. No one is exempt that is breathing on this earth. Jesus made it very clear when we are divided we fall.

So what can be done? We can resist the forces that would seek to divide us. Do we have to agree? No. Do we give up our beliefs to attain unity? No. What we do is we determine in our hearts that even if we disagree we will not allow ourselves to be divided from one another.

I have prayed more in 2020 and the beginning of 2021 than I have at any other time in my life. I am praying for the dividing walls to fall in our world, in our nation, among all the different people groups. I am trusting God to help us. That’s all I can do for the division out in the world. However, what we have seen in this time is division even closer to home. We are seeing divisions in our families, in our relationships and friendships, and even in our churches. This is the area that we can take a prayer stand as well as a “boots on the ground” stand. I refuse to be divided from any person in my life. We must take a stand against division close to home.

Our commandment is to love one another. I may not agree with you. I may not even like you, but I’m not going to let that stop me from loving you. It’s often easier for me to do that with a world leader that I don’t have to interact with on a daily basis. Sometimes that becomes more challenging in the day to day with the people we do interact with and sometimes the people we live with. Let’s do our part in our homes and in our lives, in our neighborhoods, in our cities.

We can’t control whether others choose to be divided from us. We can control our choices. I choose to love my enemy. I choose to pray for my enemy. If a certain topic will bring strife into my home or family, I will choose not to go there with that person, but go there with God in my prayer closet. We battle not against flesh and blood. Our enemies know this, so they sow seeds of division and watch us fall when we take the bait.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7, ESV)

“Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:11, ESV)

“Jesus answered…’And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12: 29-31, ESV)

Today was a drop in the bucket. Join me over the days to come as I share from the Bible how to not be divided from the people in our lives and beyond.

His love, His mercy, His grace, and His blessings to you today!