*Reprint from 2011...Praying for unity in Christ as we walk into this day.
The word 'divided' has been rolling around in my head lately. Divide, pull apart, separate from a single purpose....sounds a bit violent and meant to harm and I guess it is.
Now I'm pretty good at division, not as good as I am at multiplication, but pretty good all the same. I like the way numbers work with each other and how you can half them into fractions...but people don't quite work the same way. If you divide a person, you pretty much destroy him. Same thing for families. Once a family is divided, it's never quite the same.
Yet we have an enemy bent on dividing us. John 10:10 tells us that the enemy specifically comes to steal, kill and destroy.
The division also gets me to thinking about the recent earthquakes that caught us all off guard. People who thought they were perfectly safe were sitting right on top of a fault line - a crack in the very bedrock of their lives! It didn't take long for people to feel the "shaking" for miles around as the division started to make itself known.
At our house, the enemy usually shows up at the least opportune time...like this surprises me? I mean, he's not going to show up when I'm armed and loaded for bear! He comes when my guard is down...when I think I can just get some R&R on the weekend. I keep forgetting I am in a battle zone and have not yet reached the safety of my real home. Here the enemy can strike at any time.
It starts small...a few cross words toward a brother or sister. Then it escalates...the cross words pass between husband and wife. Next thing you know, there is a fault line - a small crack in the foundation that can be use to divide. Oh, we usually are quick to point out that the "fault" line is due to the other person, but we really have to admit that we are part of the divide.
Now, rock is pretty difficult to split. You can split it with a huge force, but a far more subtle separator is ice. A little water fills the crack and when it freezes, it pushes the rock apart. In families, harsh words and hurt feelings cause the crack. Then un-forgiveness fills in the crack like slowly seeping water. Next thing you know, things cool off and ice forms in that fault. You may think things are now okay, but that cool silence hides that the freeze is widening the gap. Then things heat up again and before you know it, the "crack" is splitting wide open. The enemy has divided again - he has destroyed.
This divide happens not just in families, but in almost every part of our lives. We pick apart our children's teachers and then wonder why they don't learn from them. We pick apart the church and then wonder why it doesn't seem to feel like a place where we receive anymore. We pick apart our bosses or coworkers and then wonder why we can't seem to make progress at work. The enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy - but he starts the process with a divide.
Ecclesiastes 4:22 -"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
It's time we stopped dividing and started working harder to pull together. I still believe that even though times seems to be getting more and more difficult, we are getting closer to a turnaround. I was told by someone I'm must be referring to something spiritual because they did not see any good news up ahead....but I find that where the Spirit is, there is victory. I expect to see that victory in both the spiritual and the physical world around me. In the meantime, it's up to me to make sure I don't allow the enemy to seep in and cause a fault line that can be used to divide. I don't want to have earthquakes messing with my victory...how about you?