Racism, at its root, is really a spirit of division. Learn 7 ways to destroy the spirit of racism in your life and family!
No one in their right mind would willingly turn a rattlesnake loose in their home. Yet people everywhere are doing it, right now. They’re throwing open the doors of their lives to a spiritual snake so deadly that, according to the Bible, it brings with it “every evil work” (James 3:16, KJV). They’re making themselves vulnerable to a demonic enemy whose aim is to steal, kill and destroy; and whose strategy is to divide and conquer.
You can tell how well the strategy of strife is working just by looking around. The results are clear for all to see: people fussing and fighting with each other, relationships rupturing, entire groups of people arguing, accusing and hating each other—over everything from government policy to race and religion.
As if that weren’t bad enough, most of the people involved don’t have the first clue as to why it’s all happening. They can sense they’re being threatened and wounded, but they’re totally unaware of the snake in the grass. Determined to defend themselves, they’re fighting with each other because they don’t know who else to fight.
What Is Racism?
When people of one race or ethnicity rise up in hatred against another, we call it racism. But racism isn’t really a Bible word. The Scriptures don’t use it because from God’s perspective, racism isn’t a thing— it’s a spirit. It’s the spirit of division. The Greek word dichostasia indicates its work is “dissension, division and sedition.” It’s a work of the devil himself, and the demonic emissaries he sends out to do his divisionary work. By contrast, God’s work is peace, unity, harmony and joy (John 14:27; Romans 14:17).
If you’ll follow love, the spirit of racism—which is the spirit of division—will never be able to deceive you and spoil your house. When you understand the truth about races; learn to kill the root of racism; and use wisdom, love, perspective and forgiveness, you will be equipped to stand against this divisive spirit. Below are seven ways to destroy the spirit of racism, so it never has an opportunity to interfere in your life.
Learn how respond to racial tensions in America as Kenneth Copeland and Keith Butler discuss this important issue.
1. Understand There Are Only Two Races
“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” –1 Corinthians 12:13 (ESV)
God never intended for Americans to divide up every chance they get and fight each other. His dream was always for this land to be a place where all cultures and people of all backgrounds could worship Him freely, together. He wanted a place where people weren’t divided into all kinds of different, so-called “races.”
As far as God is concerned, there are only two races on earth, anyway—those who have chosen to be a part of His family and those who haven’t. From His perspective, the division between those two groups is the only division there is. He has never divided up mankind on the basis of money, clothing, culture, geography or skin color. People began listening to the devil and came up with those divisions. He got in there and started creating havoc.
God’s dream is for people of all colors—black, red, white, brown and yellow—to live and glorify Him together. If you doubt that, just look at heaven (Revelation 7:9-10). God’s plan has always been BLESSING—people coming together through faith in Him and prospering together as one race.
2. Kill Racism at the Root
“The fig tree withered from the roots.” –Mark 11:20 (NIV)
Prejudice and integration are secular words. The world has been using them for years. Governments have bent over backward trying to deal with the problem they call “prejudice” by passing integration laws and forcing people to come together. Such laws are fine, as far as they go. But they’ve never really solved the problem. Despite the best efforts of governments and legislators, racial strife continues breaking out. “We thought we fixed this!” they’ll say. “So, why are people still fighting?”
They’re still fighting because prejudice is not the root of the problem. Prejudice is the result of it. Prejudice is like the leaves on a tree. The root of the tree is the spirit of division; and integration, by itself, won’t get rid of it. People can hate one another sitting side by side just the same as they can hate each other when they’re on opposite sides of town. In the front of the bus or the back of the bus, hate is hate. You can allow a man to sit in the front of the bus, and the people behind him can still look at the back of his head and hate every bone in his body. So, until you deal with the spirit of division, the problem will still be there.
The only antidote to hate and division is love. You can kill racism at the root by renewing your mind to the love of God. Regularly speak 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 over yourself. Then, determine to always respond in love to others through your words, your actions and prayer. If you’re walking in love, the spirit of division doesn’t stand a chance.
3. Tap In to the Wisdom of God
“Wisdom is the principal thing.” –Proverbs 4:7 (KJV)
When ethnic groups are rising up against each other and ugly things are being said and done by people all around us, it’s tempting to let ourselves be drawn into the conflict. This is especially true when some of the ugly things being said and done are purposely directed toward us. We can be tempted to react in the flesh and become part of the problem instead of part of the solution.
How do we make sure we don’t fall prey to that temptation? How can we continue being the blessing Jesus called us to be when the very people we’re trying to bless are yielding to the spirit of division and making us the targets of their racism, bigotry or hate?
Proverbs 4:7 (KJV) says, “Wisdom is the principal thing.” The word principal means “first, highest in rank, importance or value.” It indicates that when we have God’s wisdom about a situation, we have the only thing that matters. When we have God’s wisdom, we have something so powerful, no one and nothing in this world can keep us down.
This is the reason we, as believers, don’t have to fight and get mad at people when the spirit of division uses them to try to oppress us in some way. We can keep walking in kindness and love because we have an advantage. All we have to do is believe and do what God says, and His wisdom will protect and promote us.
4. Love Your Neighbor
“Love never fails.”—1 Corinthians 13:8 (NIV)
Racism was rampant between Jews and Samaritans in Jesus’ day. The Jews viewed the Samaritans as half-breeds who were both racially and religiously inferior. The Samaritans, in turn, hated the Jews. The two groups detested each other so much they lived in separate parts of the country and practiced a segregated lifestyle.
Jesus confronted this ungodly perspective by telling about the Good Samaritan. At the time, it was unthinkable for a Jew to consider Samaritans to be his neighbors. This, of course, was the root of the problem. Those who were bigoted against Samaritans needed a new nature. They needed to believe in Jesus and be born again. Then, they’d be able to love their neighbors (Samaritans included) as themselves.
One of the many great advantages of being a born-again believer is that because Love Himself lives in us, we can love anyone, anywhere, at any time. We can love everyone from the beggar on the street corner to the braggart in the corner office. After all, “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost” (Romans 5:5, KJV). We’ve inherited our heavenly Father’s nature. We’re love children of a love God, and we have inside us everything it takes to keep all His commandments.
5. See Things From the Other Perspective
“Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” –Philippians 2:3-4
If we’re going to bridge gaps that have been created by the spirit of division, we’ll need to care enough to put ourselves in the other fellow’s shoes and find out how he thinks, so we can be the blessing we want to be. If we don’t understand how people of other skin colors or ethnicities see things, we can wind up saying and doing things that are offensive to them simply because we don’t know any better. We can hurt them accidentally, just because we don’t understand their point of view.
Such mistakes aren’t unique to white people, of course. Everyone, regardless of skin color, can be offensive at times, so we shouldn’t be hard on each other. If someone says something insensitive to us, we ought to believe the best and assume that person isn’t intentionally trying to hurt us. Such assumptions are particularly safe in church because no born-again child of God can truly be a racist. No Christian, regardless of how he or she has been raised to think or talk about people of other races, can truly be a bigot at heart.
What about people who actually say offensive things on purpose? No matter how offensive people might be, you must never, for any reason, allow yourself to become offended with them. It’s not worth it. By taking offense, you become a partner with them and open yourself up to the work of the devil. Don’t take the bait!
6. Choose to Forgive
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” –Mark 11:25
When it comes to winning the war against the spirit of division, forgiveness is one of the mightiest weapons in our spiritual arsenal. As believers, we need to be using it all the time.
When we choose to forgive others, it will work for us and connect us to the same supernatural power that heals, delivers and works miracles. If we refuse or neglect to forgive people, it will work against us because our unforgiveness will choke off the operation of God’s Anointing, and His power will be restrained in our lives.
Many Christians don’t seem to understand this. They have the idea that forgiveness is optional. But what if someone has hurt you so badly, you can’t even stand the thought of them? What should you do?
Just obey Jesus. He didn’t ask you to feel better about the person who wronged you. He commanded you to forgive them. Forgiveness isn’t about feelings; it’s an act of obedience. It’s choosing to put God’s Word above your emotions by making a decision to say, “I forgive.”
7. Come Into Agreement
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you.” –1 Corinthians 1:10 (ESV)
The spirit behind racism, the spirit of division, is an enemy, and those of us who are members of God’s family need to be constantly on guard against it because it’s doing its best to set the world on fire all around us.
Worst of all, the spirit of division is targeting believers. It’s trying to split up churches and separate members of the Body of Christ, knowing, as Jesus put it, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25).
Those of us who live in the United States of America, especially, need to wake up to this danger because spiritual unity is one of the truths on which this nation was founded. Yet right now, Americans are picking sides and fighting each other with startling ferocity.
It’s one thing when Americans disagree with a leader’s decisions and refuse to vote for him or her. But it’s another thing when their disagreement turns to hatred. This should not be.
How should we respond?
Matthew 18:19 says, ““I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.”
The word agree means “to make a symphony together.” It refers to harmonizing with one another like instruments in an orchestra. The same is true, spiritually, in the Body of Christ. Each of us is different, yet we’re one in the spirit. We don’t have to try to be one. Jesus has already made us one through what He did on the cross. When we’re in harmony, the power is so strong that miracles will be done (Matthew 18:19).
If you’re ready for that kind of miracle power in your life, right now just say out loud, “Spirit of division, I’m serving you notice, in the Name of Jesus, that my house, my church, my neighborhood, my city are closed to you. I’ll not be deceived by you anymore. From now on, I’m not moved by the differences between me and other people. I’m moved by the Spirit of God. My ministry is the ministry of reconciliation. I walk in love because God is Love. Whether anyone else loves me or not, is not my business. I’m going to love them because that’s what He’s told me to do. That’s my job, and I’m going to do it!”
When you put these seven ways to destroy the spirit of racism into practice and take steps toward binding the spirit of division, you will be doing your part to break the spirit of racism in this country. Stand for unity in your home, the Church and your nation. Then, get ready for a new day and a new power. Divided, we fall. But once we stand united—all heaven will break loose!
Partner of Kenneth Copeland
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