Scripture: Luke 11:17-18
Key Verse: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. If Satan also is divided against himself how will his kingdom stand?”
Do you ever feel spiritually and emotionally empty or like you’re having trouble consistently standing firm in the calling of God on your life? Yeah me too, but this is what I received from the Lord to help me, and I pray it does the same for you!
Remember, our key verse is Jesus’ response to the mixed multitude where most people, “the multitudes”, marvel at the two miracles of Jesus, while “some” accused him of performing the demonic exorcism of the mute spirit by the power of Satan and “others” are demanding a sign from heaven like Jesus commanding fire to rain down.
The Lord used this lesson to minister to me on the journey in three ways. First, I heard God say never let the voices of “some” people and the “others” in the crowd be louder in your heart, mind, and ear than the multitudes who marvel at what God has done in you and what God is doing through you! Like most of us, I can get caught up listening to and focusing on a loud minority rather than the marveling multitudes. The Lord had to refocus my attention toward the people worthy of it and those appreciative of the gifts, talents, abilities, and anointing on my life. We can get caught up working so hard to impress and convince people who will never be convinced. But remember, it is not because of you but because of their own issues of jealousy, insecurity, and feelings of inadequacy that things are the way they are. I’ve never seen truly confident people tear others down, and it really shows the nature of a person when they not only tear people down but kick people when they are down. Release yourself today and refocus on the people who rock with you, because the “some” and “others” never will!
The second lesson was that when you spend too much energy on the “some” and “other” folk in the crowd, you are left feeling empty. What I learned was that the “some” and “other” folks are physical and spiritual leeches that exist simply to steal, kill, and destroy the life, joy, and strength out of you. That is their only function to extract and distract!
In our key verse, Jesus is pointing out the faulty nature of their logic by illustrating how stupid it would be for Satan to evict his own demons from the lives of people under Satan’s control. How will a Kingdom advance and lose territory at the same time? Again, the sole purpose is to extract and distract. I believe Satan is using this same tactic today. Jesus said you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears, a good tree can only bear good fruit and a bad tree can only bear bad fruit (Matthew 7:15-20). If you’re bearing good fruit (remember all trees occasionally bear defective fruit) don’t let people tell you that you are a bad tree. Don’t give them that victory, but instead invest more time and energy into the multitudes who marvel at the Glory of God being shown through you!
The Lord began to show me that a kingdom divided is brought to desolation. In Luke 17:20-21, Jesus tells us, “The Kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed the Kingdom of God is within you.” Think about that, if the Kingdom of God is within us, the personal application is that when our attention is wasted on the “some” and “other” folk who exist solely to extract and distract, within ourselves we are brought “desolation”. What does desolation mean—emptiness. God said stop letting the jealous, insecure, and doubters in your crowd extract and distract and you’ll stop feeling so empty. You will be filled and stay filled by focusing on the marvellers in your life who truly love and value you! Additionally, if you are drawing a crowd, there will be all types in the crowd, so it is imperative that you learn how to deal with all elements in the crowd. But please note, this is not a license to only surround yourself with “yes people” or those who will not provide Godly counsel and critique, because that too can you leave you empty.
The third revelation was that the “some” and “others” in your crowd will have the sole focus of shifting attention from the miracle. During my journey I had to sit and listen to someone tell me everything that was wrong with me, what I had done wrong and why the “some” and “others” in the crowd thought it was wrong. Honestly at first it deeply disturbed me to my core and got me off track. But then God, through meditation, had me replay the conversation over and over in my mind and He began to show me how every criticism and Monday morning quarterback critique (a football analogy of commentators the day after the game giving their commentary on what should have happened but did not happen), was just like the attention shifting statements of the “others” in the crowd. The Bible says they were simply “testing Him” as they “sought from Him a sign from heaven.” Those “others” were intentionally looking pass and over the miraculous evidence that gave rise to their critique in the first place. They were basically saying who cares about the first two miracles? I’m sure the man who was bound and is now free to open his mouth and declare the Glory of God cared. I’m sure his family and friends cared and biblically sure multitudes who marveled cared. But instead of joining in the celebration, the “others” try to unnecessarily raise the bar and demand something that was not expedient, fair, or even required of Jesus.
Again, God had to show me that every criticism was about a miracle that happened in me or through me. They should have been celebrated, but that was not the true intent. The true intent was to set unrealistic and unnecessary standards that shifted attention away from the fact that a miracle had happened. And what made it so painful was that in some cases the miracle was that I did the honorable thing rather than defaulting to my normal behavior. That’s exactly what they did in the text, they asked for a sign from heaven to prove what was already abundantly clear that Jesus was qualified, called, and anointed by God. Commentators suggest that they were looking for a sign like one of the signs from heaven when Elijah called down fire from God. The issue here, is that it was a different time and context which was inapplicable and unnecessary for the ministry of Jesus. I had to go through the painful process of learning to recognize the deceptive tactics of the enemy to use people to shift your attention from the miracles of God to the unrealistic and unnecessary simply to justify their own personal issues and cause those who are marveling in the crowd to question who you are. That’s what causes the house of your life to feel like it is falling because you are trying to stand in unrealistic and unnecessary standards: an Elijah miracle when God has given you a Jesus ministry. Standards set up by people who could not do the first two miracles if they tried, but they only want to see you fall and you will if pay too much attention to and fall for the okie doke. Stand firm in who God has called you to be and what God has called you to do!
Don’t let the kingdom within you come to desolation by listening to the loud minority who only exists simply to extract and distract or let others shift your attention from what God has done and is doing in your life!
CPR Kit for the Soul:
Centering Theme: Center yourself and meditate on why you may feel empty or about to fall after this lesson
Prayer Topic: Revelation about the different “some” and “others” versus the “marvellers” in your life
Reflection Thought: A few defective fruits do not mean that you are not a good tree, no one has a 100% record
T3 Prayer Booster:
- Father God thank You for the three revelations of this lesson and help me meditate on and apply them
- Lord, thank You for showing me the elements in my crowd and the appropriate allocation of energy
- Lord, thank You for allowing me to now see through the tactics of the enemy through these revelations