A House Divided Against Itself

Sometimes I feel like “a house divided against itself” for all the things that I let into my heart and mind, vying for my attention. I know that there are things that can veer me away and dilute my fervent fellowship with God, but in my weak moments, I just let them. What I’m fussing about may not be as important to others, but if you have experienced a life of intimate walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, you know when your love is ebbing and your “first works” are gradually set aside. Until they are completely forgotten.

The Lord warned that a house divided against itself will not stand (see Matthew 12:25). It will not have peace. It will not know how to hold joy. Its faith will be fickle and weak. Its love will not endure. This is the “house” that takes in both the world and Jesus; the mind that insists to be spiritual, but is at times carnal. The mind divided against itself, oscillating like a pendulum between carnal and spiritual, will not stand. The Bible says,

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Rom. 8:6)

In the Gospels, the Lord Jesus talks of a strong man whose house can be plundered by another by binding him first. Reading this recently, it spoke to me that, sometimes, I am that “strong man”. I let another, that is, the enemy, bind me so he can plunder me. Have you realized that? Although in this passage, the Lord was talking about the stronghold of Satan being plundered by another stronger force – that is, Jesus – the situation can very well be reversed if in the first place, we are divided against ourselves. Satan can come, bind us, and plunder our goods. But this is not what the Lord wants to happen to us. He said He has overcome the world. And because He has, we can, too. He has given us the power “over all the power of the enemy” (see Luke 10:19). Only that we easily give it away in a moment of weakness. It’s like handing Satan the key to our “house”.

Often, we claim that our “house’, that is, ourselves, are built upon the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ. But the Lord said that it is only when we hear and do His teachings that we are considered wise to have built ourselves on Him.

Hear then do. Not hearers only, but doers also.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (James 1:21-24)

But at the end of the day, or in that moment when we know the plunderer tries to bind us, Jesus calls us to Himself. He wants to offer us rest from the battle. He wants to whisper that only in and through His strength, we can overcome. This is the song of my heart:

…When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Ps. 61:2)

The Rock that is higher than our weaknesses, failures, mistakes, and bad choices.

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Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. Julia Diesel says:

    I feel this at times. I teach middle school Language Arts at a public school, and because we are not allowed to talk about Jesus at the school, I feel very conflicted. I feel as if I’m wasting time, because what these students really need is the truth of God’s word. I feel as if I should direct my attention and energy toward things that matter in light of eternity. Am I making sense? What are your thoughts?

    • RinaPeru says:

      You are making a lot of sense, Julia. If I were in your place, I’d feel choked and unable to breathe – because it would be impossible for me to not be able to speak of Jesus and His words. They are life! But I pray that it will not happen to you, that He will hold you together in that classroom of barrenness and will not let your mind be conflicted but always at peace because your heart is for Him. It’s truly lamentable that schools in the US have banned the name of Jesus. My thoughts? Why don’t you try to write to your students fellow teachers who really want to Know Jesus? I hope writing is not banned, too?

      • Julia Diesel says:

        That’s a great idea! Writing about Jesus to my colleagues is fine. But, around the students we cannot mention Christ at all. I’m thinking about inviting some teachers to pray with me before school. Our schools and our children need prayer! Thanks for responding and sharing your thoughts with me! Take care!

      • RinaPeru says:

        That’s great, Julia. I pray now that the Lord will increase your boldness and courage and that your prayer meeting with the teachers will be blessed.

  2. Joe Pote says:

    What a great post, Rina! And so relevant to our daily lives.

    Yes, we do tend to let things into our lives and hearts that fight for attention that belongs to God.

    Reminds me of James 4:4-5:

    “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, ‘The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously’?”

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hazel Moon says:

    I love the way you used a divided house and examples to illustrate your thoughts. The strong man is Jesus and Satan can be bound and plundered by using the name of Jesus. Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts with us at “Tell me a Story.”

  4. Miranda says:

    This is very good. That verse, A house divided against itself cannot stand, has spoken to my heart many times. Although I have never thought of it in this way before, that I can actually be divided against myself. Very good material to meditate on. Thank you for shining the light on that passage in another way.

  5. Gentle Joy says:

    This is such a good post… it is all to easy to be divided in our loyalties.. setting our minds on Christ and being determined to honor Him helps to put it all into perspective. Thank you for sharing this. :)

  6. I appreciate your honesty about the ways you let things divide your heart. It’s so easy to do. But hearing your words helps me fortify my strength to avoid the plunder. Thank you for linking with Unforced Rhythms.

  7. Barbie says:

    I appreciate your words. My prayer is for God to give me an undivided heart. Blessings!

  8. I never thought how my carnal thinking and my Spirit thinking would be a house divided against itself. I really appreciate how you brought that to light. This will have me thinking all day about how to keep my carnal mind at bay and keeping the mind of Christ in the forefront. Thank you for this beautiful post!

    • RinaPeru says:

      When we let our minds a battlefield between these two forces, we cannot relish the presence of the Lord in our everyday.

  9. I think we all feel like this. Our society pulls us too thin. Thanks for helping us reflect on this flaw.

  10. Erin Kelly says:

    I loved your picture for this — what a great visual! I think sometimes, too, we can have an imbalance with our time and the amount of things that aren’t filling us up spiritually. Thanks for the reminder! Popping by from the Wise Woman link party!
    Erin
    http://www.itallmattersmom.com

  11. Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned.

  12. What a great photo you’ve chosen to illustrate the verse in Matthew about the house divided.

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