In the late 1850’s, Abraham Lincoln was running for president against Senator Stephen Douglas. The American public knew something had to be done about slavery as the country teetered on the edge of a civil war. Stephen Douglas was offering a compromise. With his plan, slavery could remain in place, but wouldn’t be permitted to expand as states joined the Union. Lincoln began saying that there could be no compromise, and painted himself on the side of freedom with Douglas on the side of slavery. Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.” He was right.
In the first chapter of Haggai, the Lord spoke to and through Haggai. He said that the people were saying that the Lord’s Temple shouldn’t be rebuilt at that time. It had been taken apart and looted by Nebuchadnezzar and taken to Babylon. Then God asked if it was ok for the people to live in nice houses while the Lord’s house lay in ruins. God saw that they were divided on which house was more important: theirs or His. He told them that He had withheld blessings from them and to consider their conduct. Their loyalties were divided between their desires and God’s just like ours can be. We struggle between living and doing what we want to do versus what God wants us to do. Only one side can win.
It was Jesus, in Mark 3:25, who initially said, “And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (AMP). You and I must choose. There can be no compromise between living in the desires of our flesh and living according to what the Holy Spirit says. We can spend our lives building ourselves a house out of things we want or out the things God wants. What are you building? Are you living a divided life right now? Just like in Haggai, God is calling us to choose. We can’t go on doing what our flesh wants while starving the Holy Spirit within us. A divided life will fall apart. Let God stir up your spirit today to begin building your life the way God wants. You don’t have to try to fix things first. As my pastor say, “You get to start right where you are.” Live a life of no compromise.