Yielding to God in the midst of conflict uses that strife for good and God’s glory.
Scripture of the Day:
14 Starting a quarrel is like letting out water; stop it before strife breaks out! 19 The one who loves a quarrel loves transgression; whoever builds his gate high seeks destruction.
Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, But any fool will quarrel.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.”
“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.”
I am afraid I might step on toes with today’s post, but the truths in this post have stepped on mine in the past, too. You can’t go through life without strife, but finding the source of that strife helps to move through it.
Motives of the heart are not so easy to discern, but eventually God reveals the source of dissension. Whether it is a competitive spirit, selfish ambition, jealousy or just our flesh being sensitive or irritable, the root of all conflict is spiritual.
Recognizing the battle is spiritual takes away offense. Instead of thinking about self, what we want or being offended, we start to think about why the conflict happened in the first place and how God can be glorified in it. It might be our flesh or the enemy influencing our thought patterns, but we still have a choice. The battle is not against another person – it is ultimately the LORD’s.
After we recognize the spiritual aspect of our conflict, at the heart of discord is self. Somehow in someway we take on an offense for an impression that someone else did not treat us the way we thought we deserved or maybe we assume they did.
I like to avoid drama and needless strife. Seems scriptural, too – not to get involved in civilian affairs. But sometimes God allows strife in and accomplishes amazing fruit in an unlikely way.
What used to break my spirit when others would misjudge or mistreat me is now something I am grateful for. I know it seems pious, but God has shown me how some of the hardest moments of persecution, strife or being shunned have truly served to draw me nearer to God and to trust Him. It hurts, but it no longer affects me the way it once did.
Instead of trying to have everyone like us, we can pray for them and choose to rise above the fray. Maybe we need to examine ourselves and maybe we just need to surrender it over to the LORD. The end of a matter is better than its beginning, but yielding to God in the midst uses that strife for good and God’s glory.
Lord, thank You for helping us to rise above problems and difficulties and for choosing to delight in You, instead. Help us to remember the battle is a spiritual one and to seek Your glory and not our own.
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