[In our natural makeup there is an element of divisiveness. Before we were saved, we probably did not realize that such an element existed within our being, that in our natural life there is the tendency to be divisive. Divisiveness is worse than naturalness or individualism. If someone is individualistic, he prefers to be left alone. He does not want others to bother him or to interfere with him. He simply wants to be whatever he is. But to be divisive is to cause division in an active way. In contrast to those who are individualistic, the divisive ones are aggressive to form parties. They contact the saints with the aim of dividing them. They may even travel from place to place with the intention of causing division.]
B. Divisiveness Damages the Body of Christ
One of Satan’s main strategies against the Body of Christ is division. Consider what would happen if your hand was divided from your arm, your feet were divided from your legs, and your limbs were divided from your torso. What type of body would you have? You would be dead. The same principle can be applied to the Body of Christ. All the members receive the life supply from the head, Christ, directly, and through the members indirectly by the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we, as the members of the Body of Christ, should endeavor to maintain the fellowship in oneness and not be divided. Then the Body will be built up in love (Eph. 4:16). The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.’’ When we are built up, we are strong and victorious. When we are divided, we are weak and defeated.
Have you ever been divisive? Have you ever spoken anything against another saint? Have you ever had divisive thoughts? Even listening to divisive talk is divisive. Have you ever heard someone speaking against an elder or against the ministry that brought you the New Testament economy? We must reject and flee from such speaking. If we have done it ourselves, we need to repent to the Lord and to the ones to whom we have spoken in such a way. If we have thought about, but not verbalized such things, then repentance to the Lord is sufficient. If we have heard others speak this way, we must repent to the Lord and tell the speaker that neither the Lord nor you agree with such divisive talk. We must deal with any division in us thoroughly so that we may be full-grown in Christ, and be built up into the Body of Christ to be the fullness of God.
- What do we mean by “natural constitution’’?
- Why must God break down our “natural constitution’’?
- What is the cause of our individualism?
- What is the difference between individualism and divisiveness?
- Have you been divisive toward your parents or any other saints?
- Give names of Bible characters who were divisive or who had a strong natural constitution.
Quoted Portions from (Lee/LSM) Publications
- The Experience of Life, pp. 245, 253.
- Life-study of Exodus, pp. 29-31.
- Life-study of Romans, pp. 481-483.
(Lesson Book, Level 4: Life—Knowing and Experiencing Life, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)