Do your relationships need a resurrection? Whether it’s marriage, friendship, co-workers or children, God is interested in our relationships. In our interaction with one another we have the opportunity to show the love of Christ in an everyday way. Unfortunately if it were that easy we would all get along and be on a peace train. In real life relationships are tricky.
I am currently teaching a couple local bible study groups based on my book, He is My Life, Living to love others as Jesus did. The study focuses on the practical aspects of loving others. In the course of ten weeks we look at our own hearts, attitudes and relationships. We ask God to change us, giving us renewed hearts and a conviction that His word is a truth telling guide that can impact all of our relationships. Though there are many areas addressed there is just one I want to blog about today.
Let’s look at fights and quarrels.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight.” James 4:1-2
It’s easy to focus on the other person when we are upset. But clearly it’s important to take a look in the mirror. Here we see that quarrels come from a desire that battles within us. We want our way and when we don’t get our way pride sets in and we begin to turn a different direction. That direction takes us in a turn that moves us away from a walk in the Spirit into a walk in our flesh and selfish human nature.
We all know how to do this. Living in our human nature is natural to us. Selfishness is at the core of every human alive. But God sent his son Jesus so we could have something greater than pride and selfishness. He came to give us peace and the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
To simplify :
- Fights and quarrels are caused because we want our own way.
- We want to be treated how we want to be treated
- We want to get what we want
- We get mad if we don’t get what we want.
- This is selfishness in our nature and we all have this flesh nature.
Scripture goes on: James 4:6-8
“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ” God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts you double minded.”
The key then is learning to walk in the spirit or to begin to live out our faith, especially in relationships.
- Submit to God………..You will receive grace
- Resist the devil……….He will flee from you
- Come near to God……..He will come near to you
- Wash your hands of sin…….God will forgive you for your part
- Purify your heart…..God will lead you into spirit filled responses
- Humble yourself before God….He will lift you up
Submit is to surrender to the authority of another, yield to another
Resist is to oppose actively
May I encourage you to actively oppose the devil who wants to keep you ensnared in ugliness in your relationships. Take the focus off the other party and look into the mirror and ask God what it is within you that He is dealing with. Be honest with him, He knows all anyway. Admit jealousy, fear or judgement towards another. Ask for forgiveness. Refuse to live the the devils playground of selfishness.
People are not as much of the problem as we think. There is a spiritual battle going on. Believe this and you will know how to pray, trust and wait for resolution. Keep pride out of the equation. Keep going back to God in prayer and petition. Lay it down and He will lift the burden in his time.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark works and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 6
Jesus we ask you to give us resurrection life in our relationships with other people!
In His Love,