Matthew 12:25 advises us concerning separation and its deadly influence upon all humans who don’t recognize and deal with it:
“Every Kingdom divided against itself will not stand.”
This admonition takes on a more critical application when seen in light of 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
I recently saw a video clip someone had posted on Facebook that clearly pictured the above verse in action. It was heartbreaking to watch, especially knowing that it so accurately portrayed the true state of so many human hearts in our days. The set up was simple; a hidden camera at a busy intersection with lots of foot traffic; an actor dressed like a homeless person staggering on the sidewalk, then collapsing, then quietly calling out, “Help me… Help me…” again and again. As the film rolled, people walked right on by. Person after person passed him by; some glanced at him as they walked, some looked away, but no one at all stopped to offer assistance or even call for help. After approximately ten minutes or so, the actor then stood up, shrugged his shoulders at the camera and walked away. Shortly thereafter, he appeared again, this time well groomed and in a suit and tie. Same scenario… he stumbles, falls and immediately – even before he can call for help, a crowd gathers around him and all ask if they can help.
That’s exactly what decapitation does to us. It separates us, not only from our God, but also from one another. And that spirit of separation then fuels the kind of hardheartedness that allows us to blithely pass by a hurting soul and ignore their pain. It was the parable of the Good Samaritan in the here and now. And, sadly, there was no Good Samaritan for the one who was already lonely and outcast. I found myself right back in an oft repeated prayer, “Lord, please break my heart with what breaks Yours.”
How can we, as His image and likeness, guard our hearts and minds and keep them in check? The easiest way I know is to think in terms of walls… is what I’m thinking, feeling, deciding, doing, building or maintaining a wall between me and (whoever)? If the answer is yes, repentance will dismantle the wall. If the answer is no, we know we’re in covenant union with the heart of our God. Beloved, we must see how much it breaks His precious heart each time we build walls and how blessed He is when we ‘do life’ His way… with no walls.
Our great God has never walled us off from Himself, even when we’ve literally or figuratively spit in His face. And He never will. He’s shown us His heart over and over again as He’s covered our shameful nakedness and redeemed each of our sinful acts, turning what our enemy meant for evil into an avenue for His marvelous, life-changing Grace to turn it into a beautiful testimony to His great Glory.
So what would be some good questions for us if we sense (or know) that we are living behind some walls? We know that the fruit will expose the root it comes from, right? So as we contemplate our relationships, are we seeing any of these fruits?
|Pride||Arrogance||Sense of superiority|
And after we’ve taken our hearts and relationships to the Father for a thorough Holy Spirit check up, do we still have some level of uncertainty? Maybe we have a relationship or two where we just aren’t sure? What if instead of seeing and dealing with recognized walls, we just have a sense of distance, of something being just not quite right but we can’t exactly put our finger on it?
1 Corinthians 13 is a good ‘lens’ that will enable us to see what we may need to see by using the definition of Love as a guide.
Love is Patient… Love is Kind… Love does not envy… Love does not boast… Love is not proud… Love is not rude… Love is not self seeking… Love is not easily angered… Love keeps no record of wrongs… Love does not delight in evil… Love rejoices in Truth… Love always Protects… Love always Trusts… Love always Hopes… Love always Perseveres… Love never fails.
So if our attitude or perspective or choices don’t reflect Love, there’s our next area to repent of. And when facing these relational failures in ourselves, it’s such a comfort to know that our God only shows us so that we can see. We can see the damage. We can see how it hurts us and others, and Him. We can see the way out. We can see that we never have to remain in that state because He has provided a way of escape. And we can surely see why His indwelling and overflowing Life is our only option for a Spirit filled, Life bringing existence that will expand His Kingdom further and further into the kingdoms of this earth which are still under the usurper’s control.
Pressing on in Him and with you, my treasured brothers and sisters,