I saw a battlefield, complete with hundreds upon thousands of warriors battling it out. Like a scene from Braveheart, the mass of tangled bodies violently punched, stabbed, and speared anyone within range of their hastily swung arms. Each soldier wore specific battle garb, like armor, a specific color to designate the side for which they waged their war. As the men tore angrily at one another I realized something peculiar. They were all wearing the same colors. The soldiers fighting one another were on the same side, the same team. Across the field another army watched with glee. They laughed at the scene, understanding they didn’t need to lift a single, physical weapon. The army they wished to conquer was destroying itself.
At that moment the Lord spoke these words to me. “Sometimes it has to become broken before it can be fixed.”
I think you’ll agree that a lot has become broken over the past five months. Broken relationships, broken congregations, broken hearts. There have been broken bank balances, broken trust, and definitely broken systems. I think it’s time to start fixing.
Racism is a horrible sin against mankind, but so is pedophilia. Sadly, we have come to a place in life where we imagine we’re capable of ranking what breaks God’s heart the most, but I am of the opinion that neither of these two compare to the pain He feels over watching His children battle it out. Broken, bloodied, distracted, and confused, fighting the wrong enemy all along. The real enemy isn’t the bigot or the child molester. The real enemy is standing across the battlefield, laughing at the chaos he has created.
I recently felt led by the Holy Spirit to read the book of Haggai. You know, I couldn’t even recall if I had read it before. It’s only two chapters, you must realize, but inside that dynamic duo was a glimpse of today. Somehow, in the midst of the enemy’s confusion, we have become distracted by the walls of our own houses, and we have forgotten that we are required to keep building. In Haggai it was a temple, and today it is much the same. But rather than a physical building, we are needed for the construction of God’s kingdom.
When asked by the disciples how to pray, Jesus spoke some words we have forgotten.
Your kingdom come, your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.
So many of us Christians long for the kingdom of Heaven, but we forget that His kingdom is being built here on earth, right now. We are the builders, yet we’re separating the materials, finding them “unworthy,” and tossing them aside for the pieces that look just like our own.
I was led to Ephesians 4 last night, and I was reminded by the Lord that the one body has many parts. Some of us will fight for racial equality, and some of us will fight for the children, both unborn and beyond. The thing is, we can fight for all those things. We can believe strongly in one injustice, while also fighting for another. The Lord positions His warriors where they will fight the best, but we have mistakenly taken up arms against one another, leaving the enemy laughing at how he is winning despite never stepping on the battlefield, except in our minds.
The kingdom of Heaven has many rooms, and we must stop trying to be the arrogant innkeeper. We cannot place a sign on the door that says only those with a mask may enter, anymore than we can throw out the ones who refuse to wear one. There is a place for us all, and this place is woven together by the common thread of the enemy we share. He is the prince of this world, but we cannot forget that our Father’s kingdom rules in the end. We need to regather the troops, guys.
The kingdom of Heaven isn’t divided by skin color, anymore than it’s divided by political party. Nowhere in the gospels does it say eternal life is dependent on how you vote, or by who you feel you must stand behind for the White House seat. I think we have forgotten that we can make our battle plans all we want, but that it is God who directs our steps. He will place who He wants as Commander in Chief, and we cannot fight an unnecessary war with one another. I think another thing we forget is that the war isn’t taking place in just one country. It spans the globe. We cannot be distracted by our own small minds or our pride.
I have been convicted, and I think we all could take to our knees in repentance for putting too much of our efforts as warriors of God pointed towards our brothers and sisters, rather than focused on Satan and his demonic army. We must be willing to listen to one another and have real discussions. We must be willing to set down pride, admit wrongdoing, and understand it’s ok to not be right about everything. God doesn’t need soldiers who are rigid against everything, yet fallible to sin in their own life. We cannot stand firm on one principle while simultaneously bending to sin of indifference in our everyday. In other words, we cannot stand against rioting, but not speak out against racism. We cannot hold firm against abortion, yet never open our hearts or pocketbooks to unwanted children outside the womb. We cannot claim homosexuality is a sin, but secretly surf the web for pornography after the family is asleep. We cannot ask people to follow us and our God of love if the words we speak don’t convey love. Gosh, we have a lot to learn, but thankfully God is willing to keep working on us. What we must do in the meantime is recognize the real enemy we fight, and stop wreaking havoc against anyone the Lord has placed in a different position than our own.
I started this post with a vision of a terrible battle, but I wasn’t finished telling you what I saw. After the initial impression of battling brothers, I realized that little by little, one by one, recognition dawned. On the faces of the soldiers you could see their eyes opening to truth, their hearts turning towards reconciliation, and their efforts combining to finally fight together. As their hearts turned towards one another the army was awarded by a power it couldn’t have fathomed before. Charged with the strength of unity they were finally open to the potential of God’s power. Like a sonic boom or a shock wave from some sort of blast, an explosion occurred within the spirits of the saints, and the pulse of power was visible as it blew outwards toward the camp of the enemy across the way.
What does all this mean? I hope that you see it means we’re in a war. We are in end times. God is positioning His saints, and we have to stop attacking our comrades if their position doesn’t look exactly like our own. We must understand the playbook of the enemy, and that he will use politics, division, and our own pride against us. He will cause us to fight one another, while he sits back laughing and watching the destruction. Y’all, there is a lot wrong with the church as a whole, but we cannot burn it down thinking that will win the real war. There is sin on the battlefield, but we cannot keep throwing our own soldiers out of our camp. We have to find that common ground, that unifying thread that is Jesus, and we must bind it around our hearts and minds.
The only way I know for us to win the war is together, but it’s not just a simple “getting along” we must do. Each heart must seek Christ, fully and first. We have to seek it before political agendas. We must seek it before injustice and personal hurt. We must seek it before platforms and specific causes. We must seek Him, and in doing so allow the Holy Spirit to speak the truth of each and every matter. Each and every one! If we focus on what we feel He is saying on one subject, we’re going to miss the big picture. We’re going to throw out the good building materials with the garbage, and this is only delaying the construction of His kingdom here on earth. You say that you long for Heaven! Well, understand that now, here on earth, that is where we must gather the pieces. Here, on earth, is where we bring together the sons and daughters to fill all the many rooms. We aren’t building a mansion so it can be empty. We are building a forever home, where I believe I recall scripture saying that the Lord is not willing for anyone to perish, but desires to give everyone a room, that He desires all to have everlasting life. That’s gonna be a big place, so let’s start building now.
Some people don’t want to share their Father’s home. They think that some don’t deserve to be there like them. But I reckon those are the ones who might end up being told to depart, that He never knew them. I hope not. I hope we can come together before it’s too late, and that we can come together against the real enemy. Once we do that, we can get busy building, rather than being busy fighting. Like I said, the kingdom is going to be epic, and I for one am willing to put in the work now. Will you join me in the building?