About Tim Burt

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In Conflict, Stay Cool, Have Faith, and Do Right!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Ever find yourself fighting battles you don't want to fight? Most people do at some point. Why? Because conflict happens. It doesn't just happen with people who are rude or you don't like. Conflict can happen with anyone. When it does, as Christians, if only we could understand that people aren't are enemy. Conflict is something that the enemy of our soul tries to dredge up. Ephesians 6:12 reveals and reminds us, "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." If he has his way (and it's his full-time effort,) he'd have the entire world fighting with each other.

It can be so hard to remember this at moments of conflict but regardless, it's true. And let me tell you something you won't want to hear. The devil might be stirring up the other person, but, he might be stirring up and using you! Me? Yes you!

The devil will use you if you yield to situations wrongly or with a bad attitude. You will know when that is happening because you'll end up furiously mad at people. That is the sign that the problem is at least partly you! James 3:14-16 (NLT) says, "But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying.  For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.  For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind."  

You might say, Well I'm not jealous or ambitious! Those words also mean being contentious or having a fierceness termination to be right. The final words of these verses, "...there you will find disorder and evil of every kind" have been the words that have jerked the slack out of me. When there is conflict, there is the opportunity for the enemy to work "...evil of every kind."  That's like saying we're giving the devil a free pass to blow up our lives! We've all been in conflict situations where things have gone south and turned crazy. That is the enemy at work behind the scenes so we can't let that happen. That is a door I want to keep locked and bolted as best I am able.

If conflict does arise, no matter what the other person does, I want to handle conflict on my end right. So, when conflict arises, I remember the verses that God gives us strength through such as Proverbs 15:18 (NLT) "A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them." And Proverbs 20:3 (TLB) "It is an honor for a man to stay out of a fight. Only fools insist on quarreling." And, Ecclesiastes 7:9 (NIV) "Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools."   

Let me give you the Tim Burt version of what God is saying. "Calm down. Chill out. Don't make people your enemies. There are dark unseen forces at work behind the scenes trying to get your goat! Be respectful. Be appropriate. Let your words be like the sun breaking through storm clouds! Deal with things in the most Christ-like fashion possible. Walk in my grace and I'll help you through this. And pray and be led by me as you deal with the issues at hand. I will help you."

There is no formula or perfect strategy for every conflict. God needs to be sought in every battle as to how to stop and defeat the enemy in our lives. We never do well when we try to fight a spiritual battle with human understanding and resources. When we pray and seek God in how to defeat the enemy in a battle, and keep a cool head, He comes and He aids us. Conflicts aren't always resolved in the moment, but they can be resolved by managing them appropriately! Working through conflict by faith means the defeat of the devil and his attack against us. Doesn't the thought of that sound delightful? It truly is!

Proverbs 16:32 (NKJV) "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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