July 18. 2022

for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? – 1 Corinthians 3:3-4 ESV

Strife is part of the flesh. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do] such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19) These are natural outcomes of a the flesh, it is only through a NEW SPIRIT a NEW BIRTH that we can ACT differently and put the OLD FLESH to death! Our natural tendency is to STRIFE! This is why Peter reminds us of the Proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” (2 Peter 2:22)

Leader, we MUST CHOOSE to allow the NEW BIRTH, the NEW SPIRIT take over-this is why we are TOLD: to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:22-24) This is how we can tell WHO is our FATHER, who we are being lead by. Like Jesus Told many who thought they were GREAT representatives of God: You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.(John 8:44)

Conduit, STRIFE can be defined as a vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism toward someone else or others. Strife could include being in a quarrel, struggle, or clash with others or another person and might even include ‘physical altercation’! Strife includes a bitter and even violent disagreement even with those who are in authority, like being part of a ‘resistance’ movement. The Bible is clear; For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, where zeal and rivalry are, where envying and strife is – there is insurrection, there is disorder, there is confusion, and every evil matter, EVERY evil deed, every EVIL thing, EVERY EVIL WORK! IF we turn it OVER TO GOD- THEN He will remove our strife and HE WILL PROTECT our HEARTS and MINDS from BEING OFFENDED! In the great song of deliverance, King David wrote “You delivered me from strife with my people; you kept me as the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me” (2nd Sam 22:44, Ps 18:43) BEWARE of the trappings of SOCIAL JUSTICE, getting entangled in the WAYS and WARS OF THE WORLD: “They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps, as they have waited for my life” (Psalm 56:6). “They lie in wait for my life; fierce men stir up strife against me…” (Psalm 59:3). We are called to LOVE those who HATE US, and to BLESS those who CURSE us! The book of Wisdom makes it clear; Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. (Proverbs 10:12)


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