The other night I awoke from a rather vivid dream about snakes. In it I saw an army of venomous snakes slithering around a government building attempting to gain entry. Some people seemed to be assisting them while others were fighting the snakes. As I pondered this, I realized the snakes were all poisonous, and that the venom represented words. I was also reminded of a dream Debbi had several years ago in which she was teaching people how to handle a venomous snake. She was holding it just below the head with her thumb firmly pressed against the bottom of the snake’s jaw. I realized in my dream, the venom was words, and by pressing against the jaw she kept the snake from spreading his poison.
We are seeing a phenomenon in this nation the likes of which we have not seen in a very long time, if ever. We have become deeply divided as a people, and even as a church, Democrat vs. Republican, conservative vs. liberal, rural vs. urban, gay vs. straight, Christian vs. non, rich, middle class and poor. The differences are clear and sharp, each side convinced that they are right, and their cause is just, and none talking to the others. It is as if we are once again being tested as we were almost 160 years ago when Abraham Lincoln so eloquently said:
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”
We have become a nation divided, and that is a bad thing.
“Now, Jesus supernaturally perceived their thoughts and motives, so he confronted them by telling them this parable: “Any kingdom that fights against itself will end up in ruins. And any family or community splintered by strife will fall apart.”” Matthew 12:25 The Passion Translation.
So then what do we do? How do we change? What weapons do we use to combat the enemy trying to tear apart our society? When I prayed into that, I heard three words from the Lord, “ferme la bouche.” Actually, I heard my mother saying it in my youth, “ferme la bouche,” shut your mouth. I thought about that for a few minutes and I heard the words of Jesus in Mathew 5:44:
“I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them.” (TPT)
Our response then is to be prayer. Plain and simple, pray for all those who slander you, those who take stands against you. When engaged in a conversation with someone who disagrees, don’t compromise, but remember a soft answer turns away wrath. Understand that we battle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. Realize that poisoned, hate filled words have divided this nation, and only the life giving, light filled words birthed in heaven and spoken from a heart filled with love and a desire for reconciliation can bring the healing we need. Do not respond with words in the spirit of the enemy, but with the very Word of God.
But what if they do not turn and stubbornly maintain their position? That’s OK, it’s not your problem, but God’s. When you blessed your enemies, you placed them in the hands of God. As Paul said to the Romans:
“Beloved, don’t be obsessed with taking revenge, but leave that to God’s righteous justice. For the Scriptures say: “If you don’t take justice in your own hands, I will release justice for you,” says the Lord. And: If your enemy is hungry, buy him lunch! Win him over with kindness. For your surprising generosity will awaken his conscience, and God will reward you with favor. Never let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.” (Romans 12:19-21 TPT)
It is not our place to judge, it is our place to bless, and show kindness. When we do, God will take care of the Justice, He will deal with them, and somehow I have a feeling He’ll do a much better job of it than we will.