“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:” Matthew 12:25
I’ve heard the saying that a house divided against itself can’t stand. Then I dug a little deeper and found that the Originator of the statement was none other than Jesus Christ. The context was His being accused of being possessed by demons to cast out demons, fittingly he replied according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke that such division results in “desolation.”
“If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot stand.” Mark 3:24
“But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and a house divided against a house will fall.” Luke 11:17
In Mark 3:24, “Stand,” according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is: to make firm, fix, establish: to cause a person or thing to keep his or its place; to stand, be kept intact (of a family, a kingdom. To view, these verses from the other side of the room consider the person that is divided against themselves for other reasons. For instance, the insecure individual, the unsure minister, the doubtful evangelist, the uncommitted preacher, the wishy-washy worshipper, all have one thing in common, the desperate need for congruence within themselves. I usually blog about topics that I feel that I have a degree of mastery over but this one has me by the pinky toes, nonetheless, in the name Jesus, by the end of this blog, I will stand the victor. We’ve all had disagreements with others, which can create awkward work or living environments, but what about when you disagree with yourself?
An inner disagreement manifested outwardly is what we see when someone appears dejected, confused, and bewildered. After years of rejection, I took heed to my generous gainsayers and turned on myself. It is difficult to recall exactly when I began seeking validation. Refreshing waters of God’s approval run over my tired shoulders. Growing to love me is a task which I’ve broken down into steps. I’d like to share them with you. These steps keep me from inner division, being easily tossed to and fro, and initiate a godly confidence to war against the enemy and not myself. For so long my self-destructive behaviors made that old adage reality, “she was her own worse enemy!” I’d reject what God said was true and believe what my feelings said and resaid. Not only were my feelings my idols, they caused me to become separated or divided from God’s truth which brought about my desolation. Let’s look at the micro steps to the macro process of coming to love one’s self despite the lies of the enemy, trauma, failures, and you name it.
“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.” Romans 8:29-30
- Accept the fact that whether you feel righteous, chosen, loved, or hand picked you are just that.
For many of us, the enemy of our souls has been attempting to steal our identities before we knew our multiplication tables well. That early in life, he was interjecting carefully crafted lies, attacks, and deceptive devices to get us to question who we are. Whenever you are doubting your awesome placement in Christ look for the hand of Satan as we see in the very beginning his goal was to get Eve to question even for a split second with the infamous line, “did God really say?”(Gen 3:1) For us, the question may be, did God really say that I am great? Or did God really call me to forgive? Or can I really be a leader? Even for some, it may get deeper, how can God really use me as messed up as I am? Am I really forgiven; people do not forgive like that, why should God? Have I really been reconciled to Christ, or do I need to continue to attempt to earn his love on a daily basis? “Really,” in the sense of questioning the validity of something God has approved is dangerous. Consider the repercussions if when Mary was told she was the mother of Emmanuel said, “I couldn’t really mother a Savior.” and went in the opposite direction. Or if the woman who bled said “I can’t really get healed from just touching the hem of Jesus’ garment, can I?” and she did not leave the house that day.
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.” Romans 8:15-17
- Grow to love what you despise about yourself as God loves you unconditionally by accepting yourself as His child.
When we consider, just really for a moment think about what it means to have a Dad, Abba Father who governs galaxies, the entire universe, every crawling thing, even the people in authority must bow down to Him, we cannot help but be filled with awe that we are His children. Have you ever met someone who knew that their family ties were everything and that you should acknowledge them as superior because of their ancestry? I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting such a person, but I’ve read about them. We are not to be arrogant; we are assured that we are children of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Therefore, loving me is an honor as I give glory to my Creator when I care for and tend to His creation. The conundrum occurs when I make a mistake, or perceive myself as inappropriate and I become less tolerable of myself but that is not love. True unconditional love sees past wrongs done, appropriateness, and formalities. True love is not based on the acceptance of man either. True love happens when I remember that I am God’s daughter and I am responsible for treating myself as such.
I think much of Paul and his less than favorable days prior to his Damascus Road experience. Surely, once he became aware of the harm he caused he felt remorse for the pain he had produced; nonetheless, rather than avoid the people he had brought destruction to he was used to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to them. It is fitting to use Paul as an example because I know the enemy of our souls often want us to feel as if we’ve messed up too much to be used by God, or are too inappropriate for Kingdom use. The devil is a liar.
- Invest in God’s investment.
This could mean reading more daily, attending more services, taking classes at a local university, going for that walk, taking that trip, resting on that day (even for a moment), taking that long bath, organizing, strategizing, and prioritizing just for you. My nails are dirty as I crawl from under the depths of lies that self-care is selfish. Today, I take the time to invest in God’s investment by reading, studying, fasting, praying, exercising, and even waiting. I’d often thought that investments required an action, waiting can become action if you work while you wait. I am waiting on God to move in several areas of my life and if I make a sudden move without His counsel I would likely lose some of my valuable interest. Sometimes I long to have a team of folk behind me cheering me on, and I do have a support system, but it is the one’s that do not care to invest with me whose support I once desired. No mas. The work of the Lord will be done. Noah did not have a committee assisting him as he invested in what God instructed him to do. The woman at the well, after her life-changing encounter with Jesus, didn’t wait for someone to validate what Yahweh Shammah told her, she went throughout the village telling every one of the Lord. She spread the gospel with nothing but faith, hope, and love. She did not need tons of friends or followers to do God’s work. She simply invested in God’s investment. Because she was aligned with the will of God people followed her to Jesus but she did not start out with anything but herself, her pain, and her new story of how Jesus changed her life.
“Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”” John 4: 39-42
Glory to God! Daddy, help us listen intently as You reveal to us who we really are. Jehovah Elohim, You created us, therefore, You name us and not a fallen angel. Hallelujah, I pray that whoever reads this that may have had inner turmoil for however long from inner division, lacking the ability to truly stand on your truth, dear God, that we together visualize the enemy and his deceptive suggestions falling as lightning and that we see your truth aglow. May we wake up in the morning and declare who we are in You, Lord. May our thoughts reflect our position in You as heirs, chosen, dearly beloved, in the name Jesus, Amen.
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