Our youngest daughter is a college tennis player and this year, for some reason, her team is very divided. I have been trying to use this as a teaching moment. Matthew, Mark and Luke each state that “a house divided against itself cannot stand (or will fall).” I received the below devotional which discusses the division in our country. It is not surprising that the enemy, Satan, would use division to wreak havoc in our lives at every opportunity!
When I write that our nation is facing a crisis in the polarization of different groups, I have been met with those who say, ‘There is no problem in our country!’ Are we still a united nation? Do we still agree more than disagree on things. If you let it, it will cause your head to throb, but I want to encourage you today toward unity. Not that we have already achieved that, but what if things were happening like they are today, for the purpose of reviving believers everywhere to start praying for our nation? What if this discord is to see how we will react as Christians – in unity or division? I continue to petition the Lord on behalf of our nation, but the only response I seem to be getting with regular clarity is: Stand firm, stay the course, practice what you have been taught, by emulating Christ, not the behavior of men. God is a great encourager during times like this: Scripture tells us: “For even the Messiah did not please Himself. On the contrary as it is written, ‘The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me.’ For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice.” Romans 15:3-6 Our lives reflect what is in our hearts, and the things we say cause us to either bring glory to God, or shame on ourselves. We all have been given a mission in this life, and as we journey as strangers on the earth, we all know that what awaits us is forever. But while here, things are going to happen that will test our faith, test the very fabric of our belief. It will test our strength to stand firm for what we believe, without becoming like that which we are supposed to abhor. It will test whether we have the true love of Christ in us, and are willing to be the light for others even if it costs us. We know we will be tested, so why is it so hard to think that we are going through these things for such a time as this, to see if we are sincere about our faith; if we are willing to pay the cost of following Christ. Not by distancing ourselves from others who don’t think like we do, but from letting the love of Christ flow for His glory and for the sake of those who walk in darkness. I remember very clearly, I was one of those once, and it took the love of another, in the face of my rejections, to bring me to the place of truth. We must do the same to a nation crying out from the darkness. Let’s be lights for them, and love them, even when we don’t feel like it. It’s a choice of the believer to become more like Christ and less like us.
Heavenly Father, I ask for forgiveness for our nation. I ask for forgiveness for all of us who have been seduced by the hate, the polarization. Renew in us a heart for others. Bring a revival to Your people, that we might see Your glory at work. I pray for believers everywhere to return to faith, to live by faith, and walk by faith. I pray that You will guide our actions with Your Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth and grace, and I ask it in Jesus name.