Defeating Strife

These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren. Proverbs 6:16-19 AMP

One of the things that the Lord hates is strife and someone who sows discord among his or her family – or neighbors – in the Body of Christ. The Hebrew word translated strife here, also means: a contest; a quarrel; brawling; contention; contentious; discord. The dictionary definition of strife is: vigorous or bitter conflict; discord or antagonism; a quarrel, struggle, or clash; competition or rivalry. The root of all sin is selfishness. Selfishness and self-centeredness stir up strife and conflict, which never end well. They only produce bad fruit and are a fertile breeding ground for demonic activity.

Hate is a strong word. The word “hate” used here, of what the Lord hates, also means “enemy”. Strife, among other things, is an enemy to the anointing. The devil stirs up strife deliberately, to hinder and even destroy the anointing and the blessing in people’s lives.

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 2 Timothy 2:22-26 KJV

When people yield to sin and oppose the truth of the Gospel, they open themselves up to demonic activity and become ensnared by the devil. Then the devil takes them captive and has his way in their lives. No one in their right mind would want the devil having his way in their lives, but many people don’t realize that they have given him access and authority by their mouth and their attitude.

The most important thing we can all do – if we want the blessing of the Lord – is to follow after righteousness, faith, love, and peace. These things need to be a priority in our lives, our talk, and our walk. When we make pet doctrines more important than people or relationships, or if we won’t let go of old carnal ideas, then it’s going to cause division. A lot of strife is stirred up by people wanting to be RIGHT – arguing about opinions; arguing over foolish things. The spirit of religion and tradition is all about doctrines and dogmas, but Christianity is about a relationship with a loving Heavenly Father and peaceful, fruitful relationships with others.

It is an honor for a man to cease from strife and keep aloof from it, but every fool will quarrel. Proverbs 20:3 AMP

But if anyone teaches otherwise and does not assent to the sound and wholesome messages of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and the teaching which is in agreement with godliness (piety toward God), 4 He is puffed up with pride and stupefied with conceit, [although he is] woefully ignorant. He has a morbid fondness for controversy and disputes and strife about words, which result in (produce) envy and jealousy, quarrels and dissension, abuse and insults and slander, and base suspicions, 5 And protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood]. From such withdraw. 1 Timothy 6:3-5 AMP

The people, who are the most argumentative and quarrelsome, are also the most foolish, arrogant, and ignorant. They are trying to look wise, but they show themselves to be fools. Many of these kinds of people will engage in extensive arguments – not because they are interested in the truth, but because they just like to argue. We need to each personally submit ourselves to the Word of God and focus on living a godly life. This is what will benefit everyone! Arguing doctrine and opinion is a waste of time and creates a fertile breeding ground for all kinds of sin and destructive talk and behavior.

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! Galatians 5:14-15 NKJV

There are NO winners when strife is not confronted and eliminated and repented of – and when it is allowed to run its course. Everyone is damaged in the end; everyone is the loser!

Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. Philippians 2:3 AMP

Pride and arrogance cause and accelerate strife, but humility will defeat it. If we are truly saved and filled with the Spirit of God, then we will humble ourselves to apologize and forgive and, in so doing, defeat strife and triumph over the devil.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:19-23 KJV

Strife is a product of hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, and dissensions. These are works of the flesh and they destroy people and relationships. The antidote is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control!

What does it mean to fully believe? Part Two

8. To believe that God gives liberally and that he does not upbraid or rebuke when we come to him for anything:

If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. James 1:5 AMP

We have to believe that God is good. We have to believe that He gives us what we ask when we ask without picking on us for our past or present failures. He wants us to put ALL our hope, faith and trust in HIM and His ability and character – not our own. Come boldly to ask for His help, based on His love and His righteousness and His faithfulness. Don’t come in and ask based on your own merits, because you have none that qualify. Ask because you know that He IS good and that He will bless you because HE is good!

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NKJV

9. To believe without ever a question or a waver that what is asked is done:

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:6-8 NKJV

Ask in FAITH! Don’t even bother asking for something that you don’t think you will get, because you won’t get it, and it won’t be God’s fault! Believe! Don’t doubt! You can have faith in your heart, even when your head (carnal mind) is doing back-flips. Just keep believing in your heart and following your heart and cast down the vain imaginations that come to assault your mind. Focus on God’s promises – keep them in front of your eyes at all times.

10. To believe that it is the will of God to give what He has promised:

And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 1 John 3:22 NKJV

God is not just ABLE to answer your prayer, but He is also WILLING! Most people believe that God is ABLE to answer prayer, but many are not sure that He is WILLING. He wants us to KNOW that He is both willing and able!

11. To believe that Jesus Christ took all sickness and sin in His own body on the cross and that we do not have to bear them one minute after we accept His vicarious (substitutionary) work:

When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.” Matthew 8:16-17 NKJV

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 NKJV

Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5 NKJV

Isaiah (Old Testament) says we ARE healed and 1 Peter (New Testament) says we WERE healed! That means that it is already done! Jesus bore ALL sickness and disease in the stripes on His own body. When we FULLY believe that Jesus bore ALL our sickness and disease and that we do NOT need to bear them, then we will be FULLY healed!

12. To believe that every believer can do the same works of God that Christ did and that God’s power in the baptism of the Spirit is the same today as when Christ and the early believers received it:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. 15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. John 14:12-15 NKJV

Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high. Luke 24:49 NKJV

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8 NKJV

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39 NKJV

And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him. Acts 5:32 NKJV

Jesus gave us the responsibility and the authority to do His will and to carry on His work in the earth. We must BELIEVE that we CAN do supernatural things and we must ACT like we can do them. If you believe that you CAN do the works of Jesus then you WILL do the works of Jesus!

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Psalms 127:3 KJV

Children come from God. They are created by Him as a blessing to us.

So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27 AMP

We are not evolved from amoeba of frogs or monkeys; we are created by Almighty God, male and female, in His image. He made the first man and woman and He placed in them the ability and desire to pro-create – to bring forth new life and more men and women, in the form of babies, who grow in the womb and are born into the earth. Mankind knows what to do to create (conceive) a baby, but it is God who guides the whole creative process and who forms the baby.

I made the earth and created man upon it. I, with My hands, stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host. Isaiah 45:12 AMP

For thus says the Lord — Who created the heavens, God Himself, Who formed the earth and made it, Who established it and did not create it to be a worthless waste; He formed it to be inhabited — I am the Lord, and there is no one else. Isaiah 45:18 AMP

God created the heavens and earth – not to be a worthless waste – but to be inhabited by His creation.

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself. Isaiah 44:24 NKJV

Thus says God the Lord — He Who created the heavens and stretched them forth, He Who spread abroad the earth and that which comes out of it, He Who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it. Isaiah 42:5 AMP

The God who made heaven and earth also made you and me. He formed us in the womb and He gives life – breath and spirit – to every one of us.

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. Psalms 139:13-16 KJV

For thou hast possessed my reins:

For You formed my inward parts. “Possessed”, here, does not mean to possess or control; it means to own; acquire; set up; erect – to fashion, or form, or to cause to grow together in the womb. “Reins” literally mean “kidneys” and figuratively, it means the mind or inner self. It is referring to the foundations of our existence as a person. It could even be referring to what we now know as DNA. God is the owner and creator of the blueprint that created you and me.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made:

The creation of a person, from conception to birth, from one cell to billions of cells, in a perfectly functioning creation, is an awe-inspiring process. Ecclesiastes 11:5 NKJV says that, “As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.” We are indeed wonderfully and marvelously created by our Creator.

My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret:

My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret. My substance, or my frame, was hidden from everyone except God as He made me in secret – in a special protected and private place – my mother’s womb.

Curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth:

Skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. “Curiously wrought” means: to variegate color, i.e. embroider; by implication, to fabricate; embroiderer, needlework, make curious work. My frame – of bones (the skeleton), and the external covering of muscular flesh, tendons, veins, arteries, nerves, and skin were skillfully and intricately woven inside the womb, which is the center of the body – from conception to full development.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect:

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. “Substance” (not the same word as “substance” in the previous verse) means: a wrapped-up and unformed mass; referring to the embryo being imperfect or not yet fully developed. Even though it is “unformed” to the eye, at this stage, it is still a perfect little human being in process. A baby’s heart already begins to beat 18 days from conception, and by 21 days the heart is pumping blood through a closed circulatory system. A baby’s brainwaves can be detected at 6 weeks from conception

And in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them:

This is referring to the embryonic stage of growth, from the fertilized egg until the organs have developed sufficiently so that it can live independently. Even in this stage, the scripture says that all the human members or parts are contained or written in God’s book and that they are fashioned in accordance with God’s original pattern established when He created Adam and Eve. You were perfectly formed down to the smallest detail. Even all the hairs of your head are planned and numbered.

Even everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, whom I have made. Isaiah 43:7 AMP