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Beware of the Leaven of Herod


It’s this very number that is the most significant number in this season.

It’s something that Jesus prayed we would be (see John 17:20-21).

He did not pray it on behalf of the world, because the world will never experience it.

There’s too much self-seeking… too many divisive opinions… too many issues to pick and choose where to pledge your allegiance.

Sadly, the church never looks more like the world than when she is divided.

Now more than ever, there is a seemingly great temptation to make peripheral issues the point.

If the church is not careful, the gospel and the very mission of Jesus will take a back seat to political values and stances.

Jesus warned His disciples about this scheme of the devil when He told them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod (see Mark 8:15).

Leaven is representative of influence… the way we think… our mindset.

It’s what causes bread to rise.

And if we are not careful, it’s what will cause division to rise among us.

On one side of the coin, the leaven of the Pharisees represents a religious spirit.

This spirit has all the right outside and all the wrong inside.

It causes God to be on our lips and at the center of all we do, but our hearts are far from Him.

It honors moves of God from the past, but wars against what the Spirit is presently doing.

On the other side of the coin, Herod was the tetrarch of Galilee and represents a political spirit.

This spirit is what pits us against one another.

It causes us to become entrenched, unyielding in our views and opinions.

As a result, we tend to view those who don’t gather to us as our enemies.

More than anything else, this spirit longs to see the church use her voice to speak up to and out against what she disagrees with in the world rather than to use her voice to declare the goodness of God.

If there were two things that would divide the church and prevent a move of God from happening, it would be these two things: religion and politics.

It’s not that it’s wrong to have a political view or stance, but it can never be the point.

The church will never be ONE if politics is her focus.

The very prefix for the word politics is derived from the Greek root word ‘poly,’ which means many, much, or multi.

The very word itself does not lend itself to what Jesus prayed we would be.

The church can only become one… can only be unified when she is about one thing.

Unity is defined as ‘one.’

It’s not multiple choice or many view points.

It’s oneness.

God is wanting to unify us.

Satan is wanting to divide us.

In Acts 1:14, we read that those gathered in the upper room were of ONE MIND.

That’s unity.

They were of one mind and were continually devoting themselves to prayer regarding one thing.

They were waiting upon that which was promised by the Father — the baptism in the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:4-5).

The church will either be united by her need or divided by her opinions.

And right now our greatest need is to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus prayed that we’d be ONE… I believe we ought to do the same.

- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds


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