If a kingdom is divided against itself,


 that kingdom cannot stand. 


And if a house is divided against itself, 


that house cannot stand.

Jesus said, 


“Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed.


A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.”


(Matthew 12:25)

In Unity There Is Strength

 

Once upon a time, there was a flock of doves 


that flew in search of food led by their king.

 

One day, they had flown a long distance


 and were very tired.



The dove king encouraged them to fly a little further.


The smallest dove picked up speed


 and found some rice scattered beneath a banyan tree.


So all the doves landed and began to eat.


 

Suddenly a net fell over them and


 they were all trapped.


They saw a hunter approaching carrying a huge club.


The doves desperately fluttered their wings 


trying to get out, but to no avail. 



The king had an idea. 


He advised all the doves 


to fly up together


 carrying the net with them.


He said that there was strength 


in unity.


 

Each dove picked up a portion of the net 


and together they flew off 


carrying the net with them.



The hunter looked up in astonishment.


 He tried to follow them,


but they were flying high over hills and valleys.



They flew to a hill near a city of temples


 where there lived a mouse who could help them.


He was a faithful friend of the dove king.



When the mouse heard the loud noise of their approach,


 he went into hiding. 


The dove king gently called out to him


 and then the mouse was happy to see him.


 

The dove king explained that they had been caught


 in a trap and needed the mouse's help 


to gnaw at the net with his teeth and set them free. 



The mouse agreed


 saying that he would set the king free first.


The king insisted that he first free his subjects 


and the king last.



The mouse understood the king's feelings


 and complied with his wishes.


He began to cut the net and one by one


 all the doves were freed including the dove king. 



They all thanked the mouse and


 flew away together, 


united in their strength.

The Four Oxen and the Lion


The fable reads as follows:


A lion used to prowl about a field


 in which four oxen used to dwell. 


Many a time he tried to attack them; 


but whenever he came near 


they turned their tails to warn another, 


so that whichever way he approached them


 he was met by the horns of one of them. 



At last, however, 


they began to quarrel amongst themselves,


 and each went off to pasture alone in the


 separate corner of the field. 


Then the Lion attacked them one by one 


and soon made an end of all four.


United we stand, divided we fall.

The enemy works to create disunity.

Satan comes "as a roaring lion,


seeking whom he may devour."


What is his strategy?


DIVIDE AND CONQUER! 

To be divisive is to cause division in an active way.

Some seem to have a knack for pulling people apart.


They do this by:

  

Starting arguments, lying and spreading gossip with


 incredible speed from person to person, creating cliques,


 carrying grudges, and backstabbing.

 

They deliberately undermine others.

Satan loves to divide.


He likes to use the old trick of warfare...


 divide and conquer.  


He has been successful in this tactic so often


that we separate from one another along these lines.



Satan knows that if we were to go out


like the disciples did;


in One Name,


for One purpose


and with One goal in mind,


that we would be a mighty,


unstoppable force. 

The tighter the group is,


the worse such divisiveness can get.

 In division, Satan is able to orchestrate


the best of all worlds for his side.



 Some people will not only stop pursuing their mission


of growing disciples for the kingdom of God,


they actually begin destroying each other.


The lingering effects of division can go on for years.

Satan knows military doctrine like nobody else, 


and one of war’s basics is “divide and conquer.”



Anytime a general can divide enemy forces,


he’s in a position to defeat them in detail; 


the smaller segments are no match 


for the power he can concentrate against them. 



 Satan uses his preferred weapon,


 the one for which he’s named:


accusation (diabolos, the devil, means accuser).



We often think of his accusation as being against God,


or accusing a believer in the sense


 of making him feel too guilty to draw close to God. 



Satan plants hostile interpretations of others’ actions 


and words in the minds of his victims.


The accuser begins to plant accusations


in the minds of people and those who know better.



We may be attacked with lies from people 


we would never have believed would do such a thing... 


this is how Satan works;


 by planting accusations in the minds


 on both sides of the divide,


he makes communication and reconciliation difficult.



“These people can’t be trusted, 


they can’t be dealt with, they are our enemy, 


and they must be fought or avoided.”



Sowing suspicion in the name of Satan’s game.


He can usually ground suspicions in facts, at least partially,


 subtly adding assumptions about people’s motives. 


Some people are remarkably susceptible 


to suspicious thoughts about others.


They never consider 


that the accusing voice in their heads 


might be Satan.


The Evil One knows which individuals 


have immature conflict-management skills.


These self-centered individuals rarely go to people


 they harbor suspicions against with a humble spirit 


and open mind.


Instead they become bitter and spread their suspicions


 to others, often exaggerating for effect.

  

Divisive people deliberately and aggressively 


form cliques of haters who will stand with them. 

 

They contact others with the aim of dividing 


and pitting one person against another.

 

They may even travel from place to place 


with the intention of causing division,


 unrest, confusion, disharmony, 


and all kinds of vile and evil acts.

Watch out for those who cause


 divisions and create obstacles.

Let us be careful who we stand with.

 

The person we choose to stand with


 often indicates the belief we embrace. 


"With" and "against" show not just source, 


but position in relationship to Jesus.

 


Men often will stand with a friend 


and without realizing it, 


will find themselves standing "against" God 


and His Word.

People who scatter the flock of Jesus 


are clearly "against Him."

The wicked and divisive may believe that they 


have gotten away with their evil, 


but God sees all... and will judge all.


Wicked people may even fool those in authority,


but they cannot fool God.  


They will eventually pay... if not in this life, 


they will pay in eternity.

At the foot of the cross... the ground is level. 

One day there will be a judgment, 

and all will be brought to light. 

Let us ask ourselves this question:


 "Is the person we are listening to


 scattering or gathering the flock?"


The answer to that question will indicate the source:


 Is it God or Satan???

In the Sermon On The Mount Jesus was quite specific


 about dealing with difficult people in love and humility:


 “But I tell you who hear me: 


The Bundle of Sticks

The phrase, “United we stand, divided we fall,” 


is not used directly in this fable. 


However, the moral of the story is the same.



This short fable tells of a man whose sons 


often quarreled amongst themselves. 


To show them the benefit of working together, 


he brings them a bundle of sticks.


 He asks them to break the bundle of sticks. 


As expected, the brothers cannot break the sticks 


when they are bundled together. 


However, they can easily be broken individually. 

The moral of this story is written:


"My sons, if you are of one mind, 


and unite to assist each other, 


you will be as this bundle, 


uninjured by all the attempts of your enemies; 


but if you are divided among yourselves, 


you will be broken as easily as these sticks."

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