I'm at home right now so I only have old pictures on this computer. This is from Animal Kingdom in 07. I like this picture. Scary big lizard!! If only we could recognize Satan so easily!!
So this morning I thought I would browse through the book Living Without Conflict by Joyce Meyers through the parts of the book I have already read at least and show some of the scriptures she gives to show that if you don't have peace in yourself and your relationships you are essentially blocked from receiving the full blessings and power and happy life God and Jesus both promised us. First I wanted to show the definition of strife. Strife- fighting; heated, often violnet conflict; bitter dissension; a struggle between rivals; or contention." Other descriptive words that describe strife are quarrel, wrangling, debate, provocation, and factions. Joyce says she defines strife as a bickering, arguing, heated disagreement, or an angry undercurrent.
So here goes:
Psalm 37:37 Mark the blameless man and behold the upright, for there is a happy end for the man of peace.
James 3:16 For wherever there is jealousey (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.
Hebrews 12: 14-15 Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look (after one another), to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God's grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it.
Insert : Strife leads to resentment, rancor, bitterness, or hatred. Says in book.
Proverbs 17:1 Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.
Obadiah 3 tells us "The pride of your heart has deceived you."
Prov. 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Prov. 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger
Prov. 15:4 A gentle tongue (with its healing power) is a tree of life.
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire. (The tongue is a ) world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth, being itself ignited by hell.
2 Tim. 2:23-24 But refuse (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with ) trifiling (ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questionings, for yhou know that they foster strife and breed quarrels. And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome (fighting and contending). Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and mild-tempered (preserving the bond of peace); he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong.
HERE'S SOME REAL GOODIES!!
Insert from Book:
Dave and I often talked about power, prosperity, healing and success in those days, but we did not possess those things. It was as if we were window-shopping. We could see what God said was rightfully ours, but we didn't know how to get those blessings into our hands.We even tried praying the prayer of agreement, because it says in Matthew 18:19, "Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever (anything and everything) they ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven."
However, even after praying this prayer, we failed to see the powerful results we had been taught that we could have. Then God revealed to us that He is not pleased or satisfied with religious sacrifices in a house full of strife. "Better is a dry morsel with quietness than a house full of feasting (on offered sacrifices) with strife. (prov. 17:1) . He is not looking for phony Christians. He wants the real thing- not just people who "talk the talk," but those who "walk the walk."
God responds to the prayer of agreement when it is prayed by people who agree. If Dave and I have been fighting all week, there was no power in joining hands, bowing our heads, and coming togehter in order to move God. The prayer of agreement is only effective when prayed by those who "harmonize together, and make a symphony together."
Once God exposed the strife in our lives, I began to see a pattern. Not only did our family tend to get into arguments on Sunday morning while we were on our way to church, I also noticed that Dave and I would often have some kind of conflict just before a seminar where we would be ministering. It became obvious to me that Satan was stirring up dissension in order to keep us from hearing God's Word and moving forward spiritually. He was using strife to block the annointing in my life and ministry.
James 3:18 And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God's will in thought and deed) is (the fruit of the seed) sown in peace by those who work for and make peace (in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbedness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts).
Romans 12:18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Galations 5:14-15 For the whole Law (concerning human relationships) is complied with in one precept, You shall love your neighbor as (you do) yourself. But if you bite and devour one another (in partisan strife), be careful that you (and your whole fellowship) are not consumed by one another.
THESE NEXT VERSES SHOW HOW STRIFE KILLS THE BODY
Eph. 4:26 When angry, do not sin; do ot ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. ( Stress over time kills your health)
James 1:19 Understand, my beloved bretheren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.
Proverbs 14:30 A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.
Prov. 4:20-22 My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.
Prov. 3:5-8 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn (entirely) away from evil. It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones.
THIS IS THE LAST ONE FOR TODAY
1 Peter: For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days keep his tongue free from evil and lips from guile (treachery, deceit). Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. (Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them.). 1 Peter 3:10-11.
So this book is still really confusing for me but I am undertanding it more and more. I mean, I understand what it is saying, I understand the verses but I don't understand how to apply it to my life. I HAVE been pursuing this peace as it says I should but it does not come. I have repeatedly told God that my stresss load over such a long drawn out period of time has made this deed of peace impossible for me alone to do. And doesn't his word also say that not of my own fleshly works but his? You know, we aren't supposed to be "doing" but letting God "do" in us. He changes us inside and if we surrender He will form us into his likeness and such?? I know I am a stressed out fool who has no clue how to even relax. I know my family life is jacked up. Arguing constantly from kids and such. A angry stressed out hubby. But, it's just simply too much for me alone to change. So if I want to and I am trying and it's a documented fact that I have been pursuing this peace and change through this blog from at least April of 08 to this day why is it not coming? So far, what I see is only things being revealed to me but no help in fixing them. Which is really confusing, how the poo am I supposed to change four kids and one adult not to mention the 2 adults downstairs causing conflict of their own doing. If I acknowledge our jacked upness and my own and I ask for help shouldn't it come? I'm confused. So in order to be happy and blessed I have to manage to "fix myself, each one of my four kids and my husband"?? Man, just fixing myself is a mamouth challange. I bought stuff to make smores last night over our fire pit on the deck. What a hoot, the 2 year old was trying to crawl into the fire the whole time, Amber was striving to create the perfect melted marshmellow with no fire marks or it was unacceptable so she kept crying and throwing away her marshmallows, Lexi was yelling at Amber, Brandon was a dofus and all six of us were standing around the fire barking and complaing. I just laughed my butt off. It's gonna take a freaking miracle to get rid of strife in this family. HA!!!! Well, I may be confused but at least I am freaking trying. What more can I do, I am just a little resentful if I am honest that I am earnestly seeking God and peace and asking for help in accomplishing this task and it certainly is not evident to me. I am not needing quiet behind the scenes help, my family needs a bold and evident move. So anyway, I thought I would share some verses from the book. She has some excellent points that is for sure.