No one likes conflict. I know I don’t. I know of situations in my life when I have just gone along with the crowd just too avoid the heated emotions that I anticipated by getting into an argument with someone. There have also been times when I’ve personally stood up for my convictions in family matters, in church leadership decisions, in business situations and faced conflict head on. Its not enjoyable, but I knew what was right and I was willing to stand up for it.
Really, what’s the alternative to not really standing up for what you believe in? You won’t feel good about yourself afterward if you backed down and the situation was not helped. Too often when conflict occurs, most people look to diffuse it by turning away from it or just ignoring it like it wasn’t there, rather than confronting it head on. But, really, the problems still exist, and can only get worse through our neglect.
Although standing up to conflict can be very difficult, it can lead to breakthroughs for an organization, as well as produce huge personal growth. Being in Washington D.C. this Summer, I was often reminded of the conflicts that this country has gone through (Revolutionary War, Civil War. the 2 World Wars, Korean War, Viet Nam, and the Persian War) and the benefits that came to this world because of the United States’ involvement in these global conflicts, often at the expense of courageous men and women who gave their very lives to stand up to fight in these struggles.
You know the Bible also is filled with conflict, such as with Cain and Abel, the Israelites and the Egyptians, David and Goliath, Jesus and the Pharisees.
But although its fairly easy to get bogged down in thinking about individual Bible stories, please keep in mind the primary conflict that the Bible is really all about: good and evil, and ultimately, God vs Satan.
Christians often gets characterized in the media as weak people who lean on “religion” as some sort of crutch to help encourage them somehow to make it through life. The media will describe Christians going to church as a sort of duty and their faith as a set of rules to follow.
Let’s bring on some conflict right now and let me point out that true Christianity is so much more than that. At its core its about a Living and Loving God demonstrating His love for humanity by sending His Son to live a perfect life and by doing so, becoming qualified to give His life as a substitute to take on the judgement we deserve because of humanity’s sins.
But one other thing that He did in His gesture of love was to set people free from their bondage to Satan. Yes, if there is a God in this universe (which there is), there is also a Devil. He is a cruel warden of death and in his hatred of all, especially toward those who submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ, he seeks to steal, lie, and kill and cause as much destruction as he can. He is real and he hates to see one person escape his dominion over them.
Not only that, but Satan understands the Bible more than most people do. He knows that there will be a day when he will be judged, along with and all his demons, and those who don’t yield their lives to Jesus Christ. . With that day approaching (many people, including myself, believe that is very soon), he is looking to ramp up his influence of stealing, lying, and killing. His power and influence are strong–make no mistake about it.
Often I hear discussions about whether God exists or not, but I hear relatively few discussions about whether there is a real devil or not. The truth the Bible describes is that not only is there a living and loving God, but there is also a real devil.
If we would be willing to humbly observe what is taking place around the world today, I believe we can see clear evidences of this spiritual conflict taking place.
- why is it that ISIS will chop off the heads of Christians in the Middle East? Why is it that primarily Christians are the ones targeted. Have you ever asked that question? Seriously, is having a difference of opinions of religion such a terrible thing that people would be murdered because of it. (the conclusion is that there has to be something going on behind the scenes (the work of Satan in this cosmic spiritual conflict) that is behind it
- why is it that at a disturbed young man would go to a community college in Roseburg, Oregon and while reloading his handgun, order the students to stand up and ask if they were Christians? Again, why is it Christianity is singled out?
Yes, this is a sobering post today. But for those of us who are Christians, even in the midst of so much hatred for us, we can have peace because we are in a right relationship with God. Jesus says in John 16:33 (nasb) ”
https://d2focgxak1cn74.cloudfront.net/log.js?u=BG6%3A%2Fcopy%2Fpassage%2FRev.12.1-Rev.12.17&c=G022&i=a430e33bbf02644c33fae3b405f4466d&r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.biblegateway.com%2Fpassage%2F%3Fsearch%3DRevelation%2B12%26version%3DNASB&t=ehttps://tr-1.agilone.com/tr-as.jsRevelation 12:11 NASB –
Because of Jesus’ dealing with conflict and going to the Cross and winning the battle as seen in His resurrection, as believers in Christ, we can share in His victory. We can have peace in the midst of these crazy times we live in where Satan is stirring things up as much as he can. And through it all, we can have victory because we are on the winning side in this cosmic conflict. We know how the story ends and God will win!
For those of you, who are not believers in Christ, or those who could accurately say, “I believe in God, but honestly, its more of something I do twice a year: at Easter and Christmas but reading the Bible and praying are not part of my life, for you, I would encourage you to take these things seriously. Spiritual conflict is a reality –deal with it. Investigate for yourself what is true. The Bible says if you seek Him, you will find Him.