“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.”
I remember when I first read this scripture many, many years ago (well not that many, so don’t get carried away please). I was like ‘say what!’ the Prince of Peace came without His ‘peace portfolio’, we might have to shut down the United Nations/General Assembly and call it an onset of a life of woes and turmoil. Well those were my rampant and ‘hungry for knowledge’ thoughts, until the Lord of all Peace gave me an incredible revelation which became painfully real and personal to me might I add.
Let me take a paragraph and address an issue that just popped into my mind right now. I heard a bunch of people snickering about an incident they felt they were better qualified to handle. Maybe because the person God used shared a race, country, gender, ministry or what have you with them. So they humphed, rolled their eyes until they severed an optic nerve and waited with hands on their waist and a dangerous pose for the next windfall. Let me explain something to someone out there, if you notice in the first paragraph, I said that after God gave me the revelation it became personal. Meaning you will not see all that ‘heavenly secret’, without being tested on it. So next time you wish it were you getting attention, go back to the last thing God asked you to do in ‘1668, or 1984’ or maybe 2003 I don’t know. Did you do it and did the upheaval that comes with it hit your very existence, if not please take a tranquilizer (though I don’t condone the misuse of drugs, but at least this will get you of my back) and a back seat and ‘put a winter sock in it’. Every revelation and promotion from God will always hit you on a personal level. That is why I get overly excited and sick to the stomach when people attempt to preach what they know nothing about how be it practice it. Any way so much for a little detour, I shall return to my story.
Further down in the book of Matthew Chapter 10, the Lord goes farther to make a shocking and seemingly out of character statement. “For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” Matthew 10:34-36 At this point, I bet those who feel themselves more righteous than God will be in a tiff. How can God say that? Has He not called us to be peace makers? as in “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:8-10 Why then is he turning family members against each other. Surely we are to live peaceably and appeal to everything that moves and breathe. “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.” Isaiah 48:21-22
Here is my personal story: I come from very large and extended families on both my parents respective sides. Both my grandmothers were dearly adored by their husbands (my grandfathers). I guess the day they (my grandfathers) stopped loving their wives or treating them with care, God killed them (just saying…). See Abigail and Nabal (the fool). I never knew both my grandfathers, yet my maternal grandmother lived to be about 98 years, and my paternal grandmother is 100 plus in years and still kicking her lovely self along praise God! I had posted on my Facebook wall the other day, about the longevity in my genes and told them I would be around a very long time to keep crushing the ‘serpent’s head’. The response was sweet and overwhelming; they wanted me around for as long as I could and the Lord permitted. So if you are reading this now and disappointed that I will be around for the long hurl…
Anyway back to my family tree. I have a lot of uncles and aunts biologically. Even though most of them have me marvel at the connection we might have. Of the troupe, I have four favorite uncles. They are favorite, just because they treat me like a princess, just like my daddy did. They are not favorite because of their achievements (though that be many), they are simply special because they make me feel that way. I love them, just like I did my daddy because they first loved me – simple! “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-20 Uncle H is fun-loving, a go getter, very family oriented and a hustler. He was my mother’s (self alloted) body guard and brother (now he is mine). He studied Business and served as a Major in the US Army. When I am with him, it is grab it and I will pay for it baby! He still calls me his little girl. Uncle U is very gentle but effective non the less. He actually used to baby sit me when I was a very little girl. So more than most he knows what went down in my growing years. He is an incredible provider. A Chemical Engineer by profession he respects my daddy (his brother) a lot. Uncle E is like a daddy #2 to me, but he is mummy’s baby brother so that is not allowed traditionally. My father’s people are very sensitive about being overlooked when it comes to me. They feel that in the absence of daddy, the last name proves that they have to step up. Uncle E is a Medical Doctor, very well-known among his peers. When I was in boarding school; he would turn our school ‘visiting days’ into a carnival. He would show up with the whole village lots of food and a tent to see me and proudly proclaim, ‘anything for my lovely niece’. I was mortified at first, but learnt to appreciate his grand gesture of love. Last but not the least is Uncle S an Architectural PhD . Still thinks I am the little girl he used to log (carry on his shoulder) around many moons ago and always call me “mi nipote, amore mi’. He is very fluent in Italian and we like to talk about the rest of them when we are together!
About five (5) years ago, up until Thanksgiving week 2011, none of these Uncles were speaking with me. In fact they were so enraged that if you told them I was dying, they would probably be like ‘okay when?’ It was a very hard season to see these men whom I knew loved me dearly to be so incensed against me. What was the problem? The Gospel of Jesus Christ uncompromised and living for the glory of God. They were disgusted to say the least, and thought I was wasting my very talented and heavily awarded life. I was disgusted (then) too, but hey what could I do? Wrestle the God of the universe all night or for the rest of my life? Two of them were heavily invested in and part of a prestigious ‘Secret Society’, they were harder than every one else. One was in a cult and once told me he was more spiritual than I could ever dream to be as he almost burned down the house with his candles. Their absence in my life almost took a detrimental turn, but God held on to me. The devil being the opportunist and coward that he is moved in with such ferocity that I was convinced that God had given up on me. But God held on. I was so exhausted I became like a baby again. The Lord logged me around on His back changed my diapers and fed me oatmeal, since I was too tired to chew the bones I was already accustomed to chewing. I rested; and learned something new in that season.
There was a dying world out there that needed to see authenticity and Christ with arms and legs. Not a bunch of Church revelers and defrauders who felt they were exclusive to the rest of the world. So exclusive that their dealings always had to be ‘an unexplained mystery’ and a ‘picture of befuddlement’ which is a breathing ground for wickedness and sin. If as a minister and representative of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, people cannot confidently say they know what you are about, then you are a fraud. The devil flourishes in darkness, confusion and religious exclusivity. Let the people see you practice and live out (for real not for stage) what you are professing. For example, the people around me, even strangers know what I am about. Yet I am a very private person. They are not likely to see me break out of the ‘fold of fellowship’ to sneak into a forbidden place. If I break out on my own, they will see where and what I am about even if I don’t indulge them in my minute by minute business.
In the book of Joshua, when all the enemies of Israel heard how God had fought for them; they joined forces with other enemies (“ites’) for a stronger army to be able to come against Israel. God still gave Israel the victory, whether they were plenty or few. But there was one way that tripped up the Israelites, and by that way they had moved away from God’s protective guidance. The Bible said when the Gibeonites heard how God had led Israel to defeat Jericho and Ai, they came by a ruse, disguise and craftiness to get Israel to fight their battles for the rest of their existence. “However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. They put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy. Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the Israelites, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.” Joshua 9:3-13 It is much like a stranger getting you to agree to pay their debt for as long as both of you live and then it will be transfered to your descendants (the bondage never ends!). They said to Israel, we are one, by vocation, one by status, one by color, one by achievements, or one by alliance and goal. Make a pact with us, we are supposed to be together in this. We have the same title and curriculum, let us make a ‘peace treaty’. Beloved you know what happened, they did not ask the Lord and they ended up deceived and trapped for the rest of their lives. “The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.” Joshua 9:14-26 It may have looked like they were helping out or being kind. No, they had been played, and there was now a big ‘L’ sign on their forehead.
Earlier last month, my ‘spiritual’ uncle got plugged into the Kingdom of God and he is now the first in every prayer meeting. The other two that were in the ‘Secret Society’, are now on fire for Jesus that I can hardly keep up! All of our conversations now end with to God be the glory!!! Once again I am their little girl and we share a greater, stronger and eternal bond in Jesus Christ. It was worth the anguish. That I did not compromise Christ to get a cheap and fake peace. Any alliance, bond or union that does not have Jesus as the foundation, source and future is bound to fail. And in failing might serve as a major setback and bondage for all concerned. Watch that union…
“Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living near them.” Joshua 9:16
“If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:17-19