Luke 12:51-53 “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”
I do not believe that there are many that would admit they thrive on confrontation or enjoy creating division. Yet, it comes to everyone at some point in their life. A situation or circumstance comes into our life and we are forced to choose.
Right or wrong, good or bad, we must take a stand and chose for ourselves which way to go; with whom we will associate, or which cause is worthy of such a sacrifice.
When the gospel comes into a home that previously held to the contrary, confrontations, arguments, and divisions arise. Long held beliefs are challenged, our comfortability is rattled and we become unsettled. Still, it exists – that gap in a relationship that once was peaceful, coexisting and perfectly accepting of the other.
A child or a spouse gets saved and the household is now unsettled because the status quo has changed. No longer can that one stay the same. The are a new creature in Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
A friend or coworker gets saved and becomes a vocal witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. They share their newfound faith and it confronts us with the question of our own beliefs. We ask; “Can my religion hold up to the gospel message?” “If ‘I’ died… where would I go?”
It happens in our churches. Someone is moved by the Holy Spirit to speak out against the apathy, the doctrinal error, the departure from biblical Christianity, and the body is upset. We hear of the church down the street or across town. They are ‘alive’ and some of our company have gone to visit and come back and share their experience.
At its root, we find the division caused by only one – Satan. He is the master at disguising himself in these situations. He gets one to become disgruntled and criticize and complain. This one begins to garner support in their rebellion and soon, they break from the body and begin to attack the very place that helped them come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
It could be something so simple as our hearts are unsettled because we have settled for less than God’s will for our life. It may be, that the church where we attend has wonderful fellowship, but the teaching of truth; the push to be evangelistic as the Bible commands is sorely missing.
The Spirit confronts our disobedience and pushes us to look outside of our comfort zone. For some of us, it becomes hard because we’ve stayed far too long and formed relationships and bonds over the years and we do not want to seem unkind or accusatory, but we feel we have to make a decision.
In the spirit of “Why can’t we all just get along?”, many have compromised on doctrine, principles and allowed apostasy and apathy in where truth and evangelistic fervor need to take hold. Often, these situations are left and pushed off to the side because no one wants to believe we have such serious problems as that…
God has a way of purging and protecting that which is His. We cannot think we will be allowed to remain in a place without God coming to us and saying, “I saved you for more than this. I have so much more for you to do.”
If our hearts are tender to the Holy Spirit’s voice and leadership in our life, we can be guided lovingly through and navigate the treacherous waters of division.
Personally, I have had to choose between the religion in which I was raised versus the call of God to go elsewhere. Division followed for two reasons.
One, I was not discipled properly and my evangelistic fervor turned into hurtful accusations and sharp condemnation of those who didn’t believe like I or my church believed.
Second, it wasn’t God led. I wrote letters telling how I loved them and didn’t want them to go to Hell. But then, I ripped into their religion not realizing they were as blind as I had been before the gospel broke through to my heart.
I finally was pulled aside and taught what I needed to do and slowly began to try to repair that which had literally ripped my family apart. They said I had joined a cult and wanted their son or brother back.
But I did not believe that they wanted the old Paul back over this new found faith I’d found. Slowly, I began to settle into that which I believe God wanted me to do in the first place – pray for them, love them and look for the door of opportunity that He would opened be prepared to give the reason for he hope that was in me.
My home and my marriage were not immune either. It took a toll when I would bring the sermons preached to me in church and re-preach them to my wife. She took it for a time, but there came a point where she had had enough and nearly left. It was then that my pastor, who at that time was our youth pastor sat with me and asked how things were going.
He began to disciple me and showed me how to be a better husband and father. In time, my wife came alongside me and has been faithfully by my side all these years.
No matter what divides your home or church, God has a way for you to travel through to a place of peace.
Always remember – Satan divides; God brings together. It may be that God would have you separate to join with others that will help to make you what He purposed all along for your life.
Listen for His voice. Follow the Holy Spirit’s lead. Settle in where God wants you to be and grow.