Malachi 2:16 (MSG)
16 “I hate divorce,” says the God of Israel. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says, “I hate the violent dismembering of the ‘one flesh’ of marriage.” So watch yourselves. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t cheat.
When we marry, we become one flesh. Not joined with a perforation, but melted together without seam. Divorce causes a tear that must be violently ripped to be separated. There is not a clean cut, but a jagged edge that can only be truly healed by Jesus.
As I thought about my own divorce and the damaged it caused to myself and my children, it made me think about how I hate divorce too. But, this was not what God wanted me to think about. I have been healed and delivered from my past and there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus!
As my spirit began to stir, I started seeking God for what He was truly trying to tell me. I started to think about the body of Christ and the Kingdom of God. In a natural marriage, divorce usually takes place after sin has been committed, or simply because there is lack of the fruit of the spirit, which is the character of Christ.
Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
We are the bride of Christ. God is not coming for a divorced bride! Unfortunately, we separate ourselves from Christ in our sin. He is coming for a bride without spot or wrinkle.
The bride has suffered violence by separation. The body of Christ is dismembered. We have sinned in our anger and have not treated one another in love.
I began to think about the violence that the bride is suffering. The pain, the deception, the lack of Christ’s character. As I prayed, I heard this scripture.
Matthew 11:12 (NKJV)
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
This has often been a warfare scripture for me. It would make me feel radical and cause a righteous indignation to rise up in me as I pray. This time it was different. The Lord gave me fresh revelation.
The kingdom is inside of us (Luke 17:20-21). The enemy of our souls is after the kingdom. This is why it is so important to walk out our salvation and guard our deliverance. If the devil can bother us enough to act outside of Christ’s character (fruit of the spirit) and sin in our anger, then he can do violence to the kingdom which is on the inside of us.
God has given us His weapon of choice.
Matthew 5:43-44 (NKJV)
Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 [a]But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
I realize that none of us are perfect, but we need to be quick to repent and intentional about the way we treat others. The bride is separated. We are dismembered and competing against one another. We gossip and backbite. We act puffed up and think more highly of ourselves than we should. We should be building each other up, encouraging one another on our individual journeys and helping each other in ways that we can. How can we go out into a lost world to be salt and light when we can’t even treat our own body with love?
Forgive us Lord!!!!!
Love conquers all. The kingdom and the bride can only flourish and advance if we choose to use love. Love will heal the separation. Love will fill every void. Love will bring the body back together. Love will violently take back the kingdom!!!!!
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not [a]puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, [b]thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
Lord forgive us for acting like a divorced bride. Forgive us for not using the fruit of the spirit that You have given us. Help us guard our deliverance and the kingdom inside of us from the violence of sin. We take the kingdom by force with Your love. Show us how to walk in Your love in everything that we do. Make us a spotless bride. Help us be salt and light and draw the multitudes to You by Your loving-kindness. We are one flesh, we in You and You in us. We receive You as our Bridegroom and glorify You as our King. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!