My thoughts are about the church this morning . So many people I know have conflicts with people in the church. I have experienced this myself. If I know several conflicts that people have shared with me, what does it say for the church as a whole? How many dread going to church or avoid going because they do not want to handle conflict? How many have quit going all together because someone in the church hurt them or treated them unfairly?
Last night, a couple that I love dearly was over for dinner. I have to tell you that I KNOW that the Lord brought these two precious people into our lives. The Lord heard my prayers and placed them in our lives and I cherish each moment with them. It is such a gift when you can grow in the Lord and grow with each other. Sharpening each other and throwing ideas on the table is a wonderful thing. So with that being said, one of our discussions was, conflict in the body of Christ and solutions . How do we confront and resolve this matter? It could take pages. What am I talking about, it could be a book. Wait, there are already many books about this subject. Yet, the problems continue. I like to think there is a way to make complicated things simple. God did not call the wise, He chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God did not call the qualified, He qualifies the ones that He calls.
With this is mind, I believe we are a broken body in the body of Christ. I am not talking about the brokenness that the Lord does to let His light shine through. I am talking about the reality that our churches looks too much like the world. It looks like broken homes. Broken bones. It is broken by blows of jealousy, competition, gossip, pride, quarrels among us. It is sad when we put on our happy faces, we smile and shake hands or not, we ignore each other all together. We cannot stand each other and yet we walk in church and put our hands up in the air and praise the Lord. This is not a picture of a healthy body. How this grieves the Lord. What is really eye opening is we have accepted this behavior as, “It is what it is.”
Unity- The scripture is full of wisdom in this matter. Paul speaks about it. It is essential. It is like the Essential 101 class. We have to have it to advance. I have said many times in writings, without the body of Christ functioning in each one of its gifts, we are insufficient in every way for the body. The church can only be a difference maker when each part is working properly. Understand this truth…. When there is broken fellowship it not only slows the growth of the church but it slows the growth of us as individuals.
Before dying for us, Jesus prayed this for us…
John 17:22-23- I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete UNITY to let the world see that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Go back and read that again. He has already given us this power of unity.
I believe we have allowed ourselves to be deceived. We say it is too hard. Jesus just told us in the above scripture that we can. We are deceiving ourselves if we think we can win the lost when we are at war in the church. We are being a stumbling block to the gospel. Harsh but true.
How do we devote ourselves to unity? Pray first, Act Second. Tap into the power that he has placed within us already according to the scripture above. Let go of pride. James speaks about this. He tells us many fights are due to not getting our own way. He also warns us for our sake and the sake of our church, avoid people who break down rather than build up. He did not say ignore them when you see them. We can still be genuinely kind and courteous and be respectful. Despite our difference we must glorify God. We must forgive. Sometimes even after you have gone to the person that has offended you , your words might fall on deaf ears. Scripture does not say forgiveness always brings reconciliation. In these times we must dust off our shoes and move on. STILL be kind. STILL be respectful when we see these people.
It is living out… Less of me and more of you God.
Our 21 days of prayer is about to start at our church. I challenge you for the next three weeks, join us. Pray for the Lord to reveal in all of us thoughts and ways that do not line up with His will .
This morning I turned to this prayer in my Bible. I wrote this in my Bible years ago, it is worth sharing.
How awesome you are !
Teach me your ways, Not my thoughts but your thoughts. Reveal to me the power you have placed within me. Strip away all of my selfishness and clothe me with more of you. I want to be the servant of yours. I want to be the wife and Mother that is pleasing unto you. See if there be anything in me that keeps me from following you. My heart has deceived me many times before and I have walked in my own desires. Lord, you have searched me and know me well and yet you invite me to come to the the mountain you dwell on in holiness, where my heart and yours can be one.
This prayer is as real today as when I wrote it. Folks, the pull of sin is great. We must battle it daily with putting on the armor of God DAILY. Be devoted to the word. Make time for it during your day. The days we fall flat know that tomorrow is a new day. We have a clean slate.
To be the change we need to make. To be the change we desire, we have to be more in love with Him than our own desires. Sometimes, it is hard but we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. He can and will do what we can never do on our own. He can make us the body of Christ that is fit for the Sovereign God of the universe. He can restore the Master’s plan.
It is our choice. He gave us this beautiful gift called freedom. If we will choose to tap into the power he has already given us, if we devote ourselves to the things he loves, transformation will happen in us. Transformation will happen in the body of Christ.
God will heal ~
God will restore-
God will do more than we ever hoped for or dream.
He will do this so that we can be a light to this dark world. So that we can encourage and edify the body of Christ. So that we can live in freedom every day. May each one of us choose to take the steps today in this journey to live this life and live it to the fullness that our Savior wanted for each one of us.
Pray first…. Act Second…. I have always heard that it takes 3 weeks doing something daily to create a habit. For the next 21 days, will you journey with me on this 21 days of prayer? So that we can make the ultimate habit of seeking the will of our Father daily.
~ So that we can be a difference maker for Him ~ United for Christ ~