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!