As we walk through these last days it is imperative for the Church to recognize anything that would hold us back from following God. Sometimes we get caught thinking that our opposition is according to what we see. But, in all truth, the unseen forces are more likely to hinder us. One of these hindrances laid out very clearly many times in the Word of God is strife. Strife is extremely deadly to us as believers, yet it is so often masqueraded as something pleasant to the soul. Strife has the ability to make someone feel strong and powerful in forcefully sharing their opinion. It has the power to mislead someone by exaggerating a story for personal benefit. It can give someone a sense of control through pouting or avoiding another. Regardless of how strife makes us “feel” we need to know it is spiritually deadly.
The King James Version of James 3:16 tells us that “where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” New King James Version of that scripture doesn’t use the word “strife” instead it says “self-seeking.” That is a clue for us about where strife is coming from. All conflict comes from someone with a “my way” mentality. They leave little room for a differing opinion or perspective. But we need to be advised by this Word from God that this opens the door to the enemy and every evil work. For us to walk the high life that God has purchased for us, we will be required to let go of the “me and mine” syndrome that causes strife. In a world that pulls for selfishness it isn’t always easy to do. It will require us to think about others differently. It can be difficult sometimes to pause long enough during a conflict to put ourselves in another’s shoes to relate to how they are feeling. A better antidote is to pause and see others the way God sees them. As believers this should be a simple thing to do. If we will train ourselves to always have God’s perspective of others, the strife problem will take care of itself.
We must also understand that strife avoidance does not mean conformity to everyone else’s opinion. Instead, we must know that truth is revealed over time. None of us had full revelation of every thing of God when we were born again. When we accepted Jesus as our Lord, we received capacity for truth but not necessarily revelation of that truth. As we continue to walk with Him, more and more truth is revealed. The word tells us in Philippians 1:6 that we can be “confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” What God started in someone He is able to complete. As we walk with others, whether they are wrong or right, strife is not an option. Instead, we move by faith knowing that God will finish what He started in them, not us. Believe for them that error and deception will fall off as they continue to make a choice for Him.
Until next time, purpose to live strife-free.
Pastor Jerry and Trudy.