Covenant Keeping 301, Strife – A Profound Principle of Keeping Covenant
This is another in a series from the beginning of 2019 in which we are discussing major principles of keeping covenant. The first two principles dealt with forgiveness and our tongue. My former pastor, Billy Joe Daugherty, wrote a small book titled Overcoming Strife – The AIDS Virus of the Spirit. Wow, the title alone will preach! Strife resides in our spirit, talks to our mind and comes out of our mouth. So it is a condition of our heart that reveals itself to others when it escapes through our mouth. Does this sound familiar? That was exactly the same thing I wrote about forgiveness. This takes us again to the Scripture in Luke 6:45 (TPT) People are known in this same way. Out of the virtue stored in their hearts, good and upright people will produce good fruit. But out of the evil hidden in their hearts, evil ones will produce what is evil. For the overflow of what has been stored in your heart will be seen by your fruit and will be heard in your words.
In Billy Joe’s book, he says, “God’s immune system includes His Word, prayer and praise and the Name of Jesus. It includes the shield of faith which will stop every fiery dart of the wicked (Ephesians 6:16); the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony (Revelation 12:11); submitting yourself to God and resisting the enemy, causing him to flee from you (James 4:7); putting on the whole armor of God to stand against the wiles, schemes, plots and plans of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). If strife gets into your bloodstream, it will nullify the effectiveness of this immune system. It will knock out the prayer of faith, the Word of God, the Name of Jesus and the power of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When you are free from strife and are filled with God’s Word, the blood of Jesus Christ will knock out the things the devil will send against you. As you begin to praise and worship the Lord, depression and fear are knocked out of your life.”
If we harbor unforgiveness in our heart (this is a part of strife) then the blessings promised in the Word are short-circuited. If we love Jesus we will forgive and consequently, begin to remove strife from our life.
Have you ever noticed that no matter where you go – work, church, your neighborhood and family reunions – there are always people who get on your very last nerve? And yet, whatever those issues are, they should not have authority in your spirit. Just because someone gets bent out of shape doesn’t mean it has to bend you in the same direction. To stay free from other people’s strife don’t allow their feelings and words to influence your life. The price has already been paid for you to be set free from this curse.
Just as with physical diseases, some people are often carriers or producers of strife with their words, attitudes and feelings. Their words may not seem to have a negative consequence on them, but they certainly have an effect on you. This type of person is being ruled by their flesh. But Ephesians 4:1-3 says, “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The Word is very clear about strife. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit through factional motives, or strife, but with an attitude of humility being neither arrogant nor self-righteous, regard others as more important than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (AMP)
Strife between you and your spouse causes destruction. We have all been in strife at times, and we have all regretted it. Now that we have new light in Scripture, we need to repent of what has happened in the past. But if we only repent and go right back to the same way of doing things, nothing will change. It is only by allowing the Holy Spirit to take over your life, that you can remain free of strife no matter what your spouse may say or do. Reconciliation between you and your spouse will not happen when strife is present. The only way to have a friendly relationship with your spouse, even if they are not friendly to you, requires removing strife from your life. Being civil to one another will go a long way in removing walls that have been built up between you.
You do not have to become best friends with the other person in your spouse’s life, but the Word is clear about you are not to be the cause of strife between you. The cure for the problem of strife is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It was enough at Calvary and it is enough today to bring healing, reconciliation and restoration to your family.