“…with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:25-26 NASB)
The church of the LORD Jesus Christ has a mandate upon her to be ambassadors of Christ’s reconciliation, because of this one can be sure that there is an enemy of reconciliation enslaving all he can to conflict, division and bitterness among followers of the LORD.
Peter (in 1 Peter 5:8) likens this enemy to a prowling, roaring lion looking to devour.
This enemy of Christ’s reconciliation is a promoter of conflict, a tempter of greed, a spreader of dishonesty, misleading emotions, hoarder of bitterness, and reminder of all unresolved anger. The professing follower of Christ must not forget that this enemy’s most successful allies may be among well meaning friends, church members and family members to propagate humanistic philosophies that encourage conflict (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Here are a few of those expressions one can expect to hear that will not aid the follower of Christ in reconciliation…
- “You deserve better than him/her.”
- “Stick it to them before they stick it to you.”
- “Keep a record of all the wrong they’ve done.”
- “God doesn’t want you to be stuck in an unhappy relationship.”
- “Look out for your own interest.”
- “You’ve gone through a lot, it’s time you get a break.”
- “Did you hear…”
Listen, the enemy of Christ’s reconciliation, the devil, would prefer you not recognize his part in keeping a conflict active and growing. He wants us to see that the other person is the one doing all the wrong and not let your focus relent off of that (false) reality.
Obviously, we can’t blame the devil for our conflicts. We are responsible and held accountable by God for every word and thought we say or think. But we must see Satan’s pleasure in driving conflict to destruction before the reconciling work of the cross can show itself in restoration.
How then should we (ambassador’s or Christ’s reconciliation) defeat this breeding ground of unresolved conflict?
Ephesians 6:12 is a good battle plan.
- the Gospel
Unresolved conflict is a great pleasure of the devil. He will find great satisfaction when churches are unwilling to resolve disagreements. There is a great hope that the devil would see that illustration of Christ and the church destroyed when husbands and wives divorce. The devil will do all that he can to keep children in a state of rebellion against their parents.
Saint of the LORD, strap on your gospel shoes and be prepared to stand against the fiery darts and wicked schemes of the enemy. (James 1:19-25; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9)
Otherwise you may be being held captive by him to do his will rather than your LORD’s.