Honest To God...

Conflict can never be avoided, but it can be overcome. The most courageous shift we can make when in any war is to face it head-on with a power that is out of this world. Some will try to ignore conflict but soon we realize that conflict will not ignore us. Life is lived in the context of a spiritual, emotional and relational struggle. God will not take us "out of the world" of conflict, but he is passionate to protect us from the "evil" of conflict. So we must move through spiritual conflict without getting crushed. And here's the great news: God wants to teach us just how that’s done.

When we turn our back on conflict there are only negative results. Either life loses its cutting edge and becomes dull, or we expose our unprotected backs to further assault that can take us down. Turning our backs on conflict or trying to imagine it away is an exercise of futility. And to wade into the struggle waging "war as humans do" is just as foolish for at least three reasons: 1. The conflict never really ends. 2. The life God has called us into is put on hold. 3. The result is unavoidable bitterness. We can't wait for others to do the right thing. It's better to set down our sword and soon we'll see that "our battle is not against flesh and blood". 

There is to overcoming conflict is getting honest with God. Getting honest with God allows him to demonstrate his out-of-this-world power. Being honest with our true feelings is like spiritual steroids for health and vitality. King David was a mans-man of wild exploits but his writings reveal his courage to face his true feelings about very real conflicts. Here's just how real David was: He poured out his heart to God about the conflict of life..."O Lord, how many are my foes". And he went on to iterate what I would call the "Big 3" emotions of conflict: Devastating Discouragement - Overwhelming Fear - Passion for Justice. Look at the eerie similarity between David and ourselves. That's because even kingship can't avoid the spiritual conflict. Here's the cool part. God saw David's emotional honesty and God "lifted his head"..."sustained him"...and "struck his enemies on the cheek”. Get honest with God, even if you must "flood your bed with tears". It's through facing all conflict with power that comes from beyond the battlefield, that we WILL overcome!

John 17, II Cor. 10:3, Psalm 3, Psalm 6