October 05, 2018
Matthew 12:25-30 – 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. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
A house cannot stand if there is division within it just as our homes cannot stand if there are major cracks/breaks in the foundation. This is a picture of our faith. If our faith has any cracks or breaks then it will not sustain us when the spiritual winds and heavy rains come.
Jesus warns us that He came to bring division. This is a difficult concept for the church because we know that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. How can He be the Prince of Peace if He says He has come to bring division? He came to bring division through our trials and suffering to gage our hearts for and to Him. Is there any doubt within us?
Here is a super brief summary of the way I see the word ‘division’. It’s double vision. The prefix ‘di-‘ means twice, two- (like in two-fold), and/or double.
Biblically speaking, when I think of ‘double-vision’ I automatically think of ‘double-minded’. We can all search our Bibles for this word/concept but here is one:
James 1:6-8 – But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Two separate visions (di-vision) comes from being double minded which stems from doubt which is the opposite of faith. In simpler terms…being or having a double mind (including collectively) is the same as disbelief or unbelief which keeps us separated from the fullness of God and His full blessings for us in whatever season. Whatever we choose to believe in any given season must be solid. I understand that not everything someone believes is of God but I would rather someone be sure of whatever it is so I truly see who they are. Others’ beliefs should not stop us in our pursuit of a relationship with the Holy Trinity or in communicating with one another on a civilized basis if that is what we desire.
There are church splits in multiple denominations happening across the world. Why? Because Jesus is separating people so we can know or come to know what it is we truly desire. How many times did God say, “I, the Lord, do these things”?
John chapter 7 is a very interesting chapter on division, belief, and judgments if we look at it through the right setting of our spiritual eyes. Then, in John chapter 8, we see His response to the people’s judgment of Mary Magdalene. The Bible is written in multiple patterns. Our current times, past times, and future times are laid out for us if we are willing to open our eyes. John chapter 7 (of course the whole Bible but for today..John 7) shows a detailed picture of what happens when there is division. It leads us into the beginning of John 8 when Jesus is standing between the crowd and Mary Magdalene. Anyone seeing this picture clearly? It is He that stands in the middle of the division if we choose to see it. It is He that is our protector/defender against those who would accuse us if we choose to see it. It is He that judges all things because God gave Him His Power to do so. Search your Bibles; test every spirit.
No house divided amongst itself can stand. That’s what He says, right? Everything starts on the individual level. What is it that we truly believe? Until we get to that point individually we cannot even begin to see it corporately or globally. We cannot or should not be teaching something as an absolute that we ourselves do not yet know (knowledge and understanding are different entitities: Proverbs 9:10). The Pharisees (hahahahaha, just saw something in that word alone that I will be researching at some point…Phari-sees? Just saying…) had a vision (idea) of Who the Messiah would be and look like in their own minds. It wasn’t what was standing before them. So…in an effort to shame a woman who was caught in sin and at the same time to try and discredit the validity of Jesus’ birthright, they came with the mob mentality to get them both and prove their self-idea of righteousness. No, no, no. Jesus said ‘not today, satan’.
Division is not always a bad thing though. Division is sometimes needed for classification, knowledge purposes, and setting/maintaining boundaries. Division can be seen as separating oneself from those things or people that cause us to doubt what we know that we know that we know to be true. It is imperative we come to understand (not just know) our own minds and hearts in every situation and seek the Lord to help us with those divisions or boundaries to receive our inheritance.
Jesus often separated Himself from the crowds gathered to hear Him preach. I don’t have a solid on this but so far my thinking on it is He did so to see how far people would go/come to learn of, from, and for Him. As He is eternal (was, is, and is to come simultaneously) this is an ongoing situation for us as well to see how far we are willing to go for, with, and through Him. Will we give up our lives for Him as He has for us? This more times than not means making our friendship and family circles smaller to avoid strife and chaotic disagreements so we can focus and come to trust in Him and ALL that He is so we can then “go forth and proclaim the good news of the gospel”.
Division begins in our hearts and minds. In my experience it usually shows itself to us through offenses. I cannot tell you if this holds true for you but I’m fairly certain if you look at those things that truly tick you off it is an offense which can show you have some type of doubt that exists within you. Doubt is the opposite of faith but it is also the opposite of trust because trust is faith and “without faith it is impossible to please Him”. Test every spirit.
The line is drawn in the sand for us to know and understand what is harbored in our hearts and minds. Once our doubts and fears are exposed we have a choice to make; continue on the same path or turn around and walk away like the mob did when Jesus called them out about their lives…”He who is without sin cast the first stone…”. It is not enough just to turn our natural eyes away from something. We are to turn our hearts around to God also.
Isaiah 29 shows us something that has been and still is…this part is titled The Blindness of Disobedience.
Isaiah 29:9-16 – Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink. 10 For the Lord has poured out on you The spirit of deep sleep, And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers. 11 The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I am not literate.” 13 Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, 14 Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work Among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.” 15 Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the Lord, And their works are in the dark; They say, “Who sees us?” and, “Who knows us?” 16 Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For shall the thing made say of him who made it, “He did not make me”? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?
With the political climate as it is across the world, but especially here in America, are we believers doing what we have been called to do? I dare say not. The American flag has become more of a god than our God to us. Our political opinions and beliefs have become more of a god than our God. Our church meetings and rules have become more of a god than our God. Our families, friends, children, etc. have become more of a god than our God (yes I am taking this all in also). Are we seeing this? Because we exalt these things higher than our God we are divided amongst ourselves which is why so much strife exists in the world, why churches are splitting, and why home churches are on the rise (“I, the Lord, do all these things”). Where is our individual trust and faith captured the most? Is it in Judge Kavanaugh? Is it in Dr. Ford? Is it in the National Anthem? Is it in Republicans? Is it in Democrats? Wherever we feel offended most when we are tested is where our priority is. Test every spirit to see if it stands up to Truth. Once Holy Spirit reveals to us what is in our hearts and minds it is our responsibility to learn to become obedient to His voice. Hope is never lost until it is lost. When something is lost it can be found through diligence and understanding.
I pray this post serves whatever purpose God has for it. Here is a song I wrote that came from a vision and a revelation I received years ago. The worship team at the church I was attending at the time came up with the arrangement following the lead of Rachael Martin. This is my way of saying thank you to them all (“Enter His gates with thanksgiving…”) because it takes the many membered Body of Christ to fulfill His Kingdom purposes on earth as it is in Heaven. Thank you to Rachael Martin, David Jimenez, Melvin Hardy, and Whole Word Fellowship for this part of my journey that has led and come from other parts of my journey. Our hearts are a doorway. Allow the Lord through Holy Spirit to divide you even more so you can stand in His Judgment with clean hands and a pure heart and be unworried about the things happening around you. Remember…”We Will Rise”. ☺️
Alicia R. Shipe