1 Corinthians 1:13 KJV “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”
Earlier this week I had a dream. I saw a white sign on a fire truck. The truck was moving and the sign on top of the truck was as big as the truck. As I got closer to the fire truck I was able to see what was written on the sign. It read, “1 Corinthians 1:13.” I woke up wondering what the dream meant. I knew the dream was from God. I prayed for interpretation and read 1 Corinthians 1:13, which reads:
1 Corinthians 1:13 AMP “Has Christ been divided [into different parts]? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul? [Certainly not!]”
“Has Christ been divided [into different parts]?” I discerned that God was talking to me about divisions in the church. He is definitely not happy about it. I also reflected on a church split I went through recently with people I’ve known for 30 plus years!😲 “1 Corinthians 1:13,” sitting on a fire truck. As I prayed for interpretation my mind shifted to, what does the fire truck represent? What do fire trucks do? They’re used to put out fires and help save lives. The more I prayed and asked God for understanding I knew that God was telling me just as a fire truck puts out raging fires, obeying what 1 Corinthians 1:13 encourages– UNITY IN THE BODY not divisions–will put out God’s fiery judgment🔥 that is coming on all who cause divisions in the body of Christ. God was letting me know He didn’t want anyone to burn. Neither should we. And I also believe God was telling me to, ‘Use the gifts I have given you to warn people in the church. Help put out the fire, help save some lives like a good fireman.’ (Jude 1:22-23)
I also began to discern from this dream that I should not feel immune from God’s fiery judgment. Let’s say you or I have a falling out with a brother or sister and to the best of our knowledge we’ve done all we can to resolve matters peacefully. After we’ve done our part we should not feel proud because of this or careless about what happens to those who’ve fallen. First of all we may have done our best only according to OUR KNOWLEDGE. What if we missed a step that God requires when it comes to reconciling with a brother or sister? (Matthew 18:15-17 Matthew 5:22-24). And even if we know we have followed the scriptures in this regard we should still examine ourselves carefully and prayerfully to BE SURE we did everything according to the word of God and not our emotions.
When someone falls and stops following the Lord this is a very sad thing. Some believe that if a person stops serving God they were never following Him in the first place. If that’s true in every case how could this passage written by the Holy Spirit be true?
2 Peter 2:20-22 NET “For if after they have escaped the filthy things of the world through the rich knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they again get entangled in them and succumb to them, their last state has become worse for them than their first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than, having known it, to turn back from the holy commandment that had been delivered to them. They are illustrations of this true proverb: “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and “A sow, after washing herself, wallows in the mire.”
Passages like this and others make it plain that some were following God who turned away from following Him. (Hebrews 10:38-39) The dog left it’s vomit but then returned to it. The sow was washed, cleansed by Jesus, but now is wallowing in the mud. You know what’s really scary about all of this? Any of us can do the same thing and think we are still serving God.😲 That’s what has happened to MANY who have separated themselves and cause divisions among true believers. Satan has tricked them into thinking they are right and between them and God things are ok.👌Oh the sad words so many will hear on Judgment Day! Let’s do our best to be sure we are not one of these:
Matthew 7:21-23 HCSB “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’
May we never be deceived to believe we can serve God how we want to, by our emotions, and not according to scripture. I know we all get on each other’s nerves sometimes but this is not a reason to split up as a church or stop fellowshiping with one another. I’m reminded of Peter who once asked Jesus, ‘Lord how many times am I to forgive my brother when he sins against me, up to seven times?’ And Jesus answered him, ‘No, up to SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN.’ (Matthew 18:21-22)
May we individually and as a church put out God’s fiery judgement which is coming on all who claim to belong to him but refuse to love one another and be united in the Spirit. May we continue to examine ourselves carefully and prayerfully in this regard:
Colossians 3:13 NET “Bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others.
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Philippians 1:28 KJV “And IN NOTHING terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”
2 Timothy 1:7 KJV “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of A SOUND MIND.”
Since God does not give us a spirit of timidity where does intimidation come from? Satan the Devil. So does manipulation and domination. These 3 are witchcraft. They are used to take total control of a person or masses of people. Once you manipulate someone then intimidate them you can also dominate them. Trick them scare them then you control them. Sounds familiar?🤔
No wonder God always encourages His people not to fear what others fear but to have faith.😊 Fear brings us under control of the evil one. Demons feed on fear. They are having a smorgasbord feast right now! Turn on the T.V. All you see and hear is fear. Listen to what folks are saying around you. The whole world is scared! They are under a spell and don’t even know it. They have been manipulated, intimidated, and dominated. God says Satan has the whole world under his wicked power. And this is a judgment from Almighty God for rejecting The King Of Kings And Lord Of Lords Jesus Christ.
1 John 5:19 ICB “We know that we belong to God. But the Evil One controls the whole world.”
Children of God obey God when He says, “IN NOTHING,” be terrified by your adversaries. Oh they will keep trying to manipulate and intimidate you. Fear tactics are spewed day and night in all forms of media. People are threatened at their jobs, schools, etcetera. But the true children of God will not be hurt by Manipulation, Intimidation, and Domination. The Lord Jesus keeps them safe.😊 Does that mean we never get fearful, that we are never tricked or manipulated? No, of course not. But true children of God will not remain in a state of fear and manipulation. The Holy Spirit inspired David to put it best this way:
Psalms 56:3 NIV “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
Children of God turn fears into faith like David. The children of the Devil are always fearful and hence dominated. Oh how they put on airs of being big and bad, bold and confident, but they are not. The whole world is terrified at everything coming on the earth just as Jesus said they would be. (Luke 21:26)
YOU CAN ONLY GIVE WHAT YOU HAVE
You can only give what you have. If all you have is fear fear is all you can give. God’s word illustrates this best. God gave the Israelite nation specific instructions of what they were to do every time they went into battle against their enemies:
Deuteronomy 20:1 KJV “When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, BE NOT AFRAID OF THEM: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”
The first set of instructions were NOT TO FEAR your enemies because they look stronger than you. “For the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” God reminded them that He is with them.😊 He also reminded them of what He did to Pharaoh when He delivered them from Egypt; that epic battle where God parted the Red Sea,😲 then allowed Israel to cross it on dry ground.😲 When Pharaoh’s chariots, soldiers, and horseman went in after them the Lord pulled the wheels off of their chariots and threw Pharaoh’s army into confusion.😲 Once Israel crossed the Red Sea the Lord made the waters go back to their normal state drowning Pharaoh’s entire army!😲 What a victory! I once worked with a mocker who used to say, “Jesus don’t fight but I do,” and I would think to myself, “You obviously don’t know Jesus.”
God gave His people other instructions to carry out whenever they went into battle. One of them was:
Deuteronomy 20:8 KJV “And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart.”
Whoever was too afraid to fight in the battle God said, ‘Send him home.’ Why? “Lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart.” Remember, you can only give what you have. A fearful person in battle will cause his brethren’s heart to fear as well God said. God does not use fearful people for war. If you have godly courage then godly courage you can give others to strengthen them. But if all you have is fear you will stumble your brothers in battle. ‘Send him/her home,’ God said. They are not fit for battle.
Proverbs 29:25 NIV “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
If you and I disobey God by fearing our enemies we have already lost the battle.😞 We must repent so that we won’t lose the war!
Children of God turn fears into faith like David. The children of the Devil are always fearful and hence dominated.
FACE YOUR ENEMIES
Though we do not fight with the same weapons ancient Israel fought with and our battles are spiritual the same war instructions apply: ‘DO NOT FEAR YOUR ENEMIES BECAUSE THEY “LOOK” STRONGER THAN YOU!’
What enemies do we face today? Are pestilences our enemy like Coronavirus? Or folks who want to force an unsafe, improperly tested vaccine on us? Might unemployment be our enemy? Or maybe we’re going through a season of severe persecution? We could go on and on. Our enemies are many and can look very huge if we focus on them. But ahh we must remember God’s command: ‘DO NOT FEAR YOUR ENEMIES BECAUSE THEY “LOOK” STRONGER THAN YOU! I AM THE LORD, YOUR GOD, WHO BROUGHT YOU UP OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT.’😊 I once heard a wise woman say, “Instead of always talking about how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is!😊 That reminds me of something Jesus says:
Luke 17:6 KJV “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”
This is the kind of faith needed to face our enemies. The same kind of faith God instructed Israel to have when facing their enemies in battle.
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