Strife Points to a Lack of Striving

“The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy?”

Every believer is called to “fight the good fight.”

The reason why we dispute in families, churches, and politics is that there are “two spirits” of jealousy at work.    The Holy Spirit tries to pull us upward while our own hedonism pushes us downward.  When the twelve apostles were arguing about who might end up with the best position in heaven’s court, the disciples were losing the battle.   The apostle’s skirmish served as a prelude to the inner life of the average church.

James writes (perhaps after a church meeting), “We fight, quarrel, battle, covet and kill each other with words.”    How many church members have echoed Psalm 55, ““Had I but wings like a dove I would fly away and be at rest.   Far away I would flee;
I would lodge in the wilderness.”

Jesus promised the Church where “two or three are gathered  I am in their midst. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”

We forfeit this promise when our prayers masquerade as seeking God’s will when we are mostly concerned with our own agendas.   Jose  Escriva writes,  “How can you be at peace if you allow passions you do not even attempt to control to drag you away from the ‘pull’ of grace.”  Satan’s goal is to divide and conquer.   Usually, he begins with motives that are 98% on target and 2% wrong.  But then we drift from God’s agenda to our own desires.  

How do you win this fight?

With any fight, its always good to be on our guard.

  1. “Therefore be on the alert,  – (Matthew 24:42-43)
  2. “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. – (Matthew 25:13) 
  3. “Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. – (Acts 20:31)
  4. Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. – (1 Corinthians 16:13)
  5. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, – (Ephesians 6:18)
  6. so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. – (1 Thessalonians 5:6)
  7. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. – (1 Peter 5:8)

Every believer is called to “fight the good fight.” 

Jesus shows us how in Mark 9:35-37.  “Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,    and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

The most important truth I can learn about Christian life is to know-how answer, “What is the driving force in my life?”

Mark writes, “Then he sat down.”   In reading this passage,  I thought of Philippians 2:5:   “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2)

Every Christian is called to a life’s purpose of “striving to be smaller.”  If I am not consistently practicing “smallness,” the desire to win and outperform my peers will always win and war ensues.

Jesus states: “receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

How do you receive Jesus?  

Do I say a prayer?  Yes.   It’s always good to invite Jesus into your life.  However, in Scripture, receiving Jesus means something more.   As believers, we receive Christ every time we celebrate communion. (John 6:51-58).   Paul writes, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ.  The bread is not a participation in the body of Christ.”  Communion opens heaven’s door.   Ironically, the ladder of heaven gives us the supernatural power to descend to see the lost, hungry and needy.

Our will becomes more aligned with God’s will.

 

 

 

 

 

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