Fervent_21_ThePeaceOfGod

Read

Strategy 10: Your Relationships (pages 169-181)

“[Satan will] divide old and young, traditionalists versus progressives, private school kids from the public schoolers. Instead of people being able to freely exercise and emphasize their various spiritual gifts for the good of the body, he’ll cause folks to see one another’s personal ministry as being a direct competitor of another’s. Division, disharmony, friendly fire. They’re breaks in the line of our peace.” {Fervent, page 175}

Recently on Facebook, I stumbled into a comment thread between people whom I know to be Christians; they were arguing and making precision cuts with sarcasm over their differing theological opinions.

It’s not only online that these divisive exchanges happen. Some of us might experience this in conversation around the dinner table or in the break room at the office. Sometimes we experience “friendly fire” through email or private message. The enemy knows the power of a subtle, suggestive comment. However it comes, it cuts at our hearts and the wounds left behind can lead us to feeling isolated, dejected, and divided.

Wherever it happens, you can be sure it’s got the stink of the enemy all over it.

When he can tempt us to turn on each other, our witness fails. While we’re busy reeling from the blows of our friends, we’re at a standstill in our calling.

“Friendly fire in the church or in our most vital relationships is almost always code for enemy activity.” {Fervent, page 170}

We need to guard our relationships. Jealousy, harsh talk, name-calling, rejection, judgment, and gossip are all tools in the tempter’s tool box that we routinely pick up and use against each other. Friends, this cannot be. We have Kingdom work to do — together.

Romans 14:19 tells us to “pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” This is our true work; this is how we lock arms and form a barricade against the infiltration of the enemy.

God created us for relationship, both with Himself and with each other.

By pursuing truth and acting in love, we can remain firmly planted in the places where God has called us together, side by side.

What’s Next

For Monday, let’s get ready to have some fun as we wrap up our study! 

Join us for today’s live Blab chat or watch here!

Discuss

What steps can you take today to heighten your alert against the temptation to create distance between yourself and others in the body of Christ? How can you be proactive in facilitating peace and truth in your relationships?


Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 12.22.52 PM Kris is passionate about bringing people to the table to be nourished by good words, good food, and Jesus. Meet Kris at her blog, kriscamealy.com and on Instagram @kriscamealy. Kris is the author of the book Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement and the founder of GraceTable.org, a community Table open to all who are hungry for more of Jesus.

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  • Rebecca Jones

    Friendly fire? You can get killed by that. it is sad that Christians can not rise above that. I’ve experienced this, I try to meet people at their faith level. the deeper you are in faith, the devil throws the darts. Christians shouldn’t be loaning him their words, they should remember the Lord’s. He is our peace. Great post!

    • http://kriscamealy.com/ Kris Camealy

      It’s hard sometimes, isn’t it Rebecca? But we can be always in prayer for each other, that we would resist the enemy’s temptation and build each other up. We can’t do it in our own strength, but by His grace and mercy, we CAN learn to love each other better, and tune our hearts to sing the same song.

  • http://michelemorin.wordpress.com Michele Morin

    Another verse that comes to mind with the topic of dissension is this: “As much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” I’m so thankful that Paul recognized that sometimes it’s beyond our control. Even so, we are responsible for our right behavior toward those who will not live in peace. I used to tell my kids that when they were sinned against, they were not justified in “sinning back.”
    I think too often we “sin back” as a default.

    • http://kriscamealy.com/ Kris Camealy

      Yes, Paul has some really great words for the body of Christ! So many helpful scriptures to instruct us. Thank you!

  • Melinda

    Fervent is a great study that re-confirms the lessons we learn from the movie “War Room”. Fervent also, anchors powerful truths and principles that we learned from Miss Clara and Elizabeth in the movie “War Room”. Our enemy, Satan (the fox), is trying very hard to weaken our faith with every step we take along our life’s journey with our Savior & Lord and our Heavenly Father. When Satan comes knocking at our heart’s door to rob us of our faith, we need to answer with James 4:7 and kick him out just like Elizabeth did in “War Room”. Prayer sends Satan (the fox) away from our lives (the henhouse). Resisting the devil is hard at times to do because we are made of clay (flesh); but that is when we should double up on calling home to our Heavenly Father for help in resisting the fox in our henhouse. In Song of Solomon, God sends in a warning to watch out for the fox that can rob us of our faith, our daily walk, our relationship with Him, and our relationship with others (that includes our mate/date). Satan is friendly fire of trying us to retreat from our faith, just only makes us dig deeper and stronger into our faith in Him. Ephesians 6:10-20 tells us to put our Spiritual Armor on daily and to seal it with prayer. In Proverbs 4:20-23 tells to guard our hearts, because that is where the Spirit dwells within us. In God’s Holy Word, He tells many many times over to meet and gather with other believers because we try strength from them and because Satan can not with stand two or more praying in the name of our Lord and Savior.

    • http://kriscamealy.com/ Kris Camealy

      Staying in community is a huge part of being able to resist temptation. Thank you, Melinda.

  • Beth Williams

    Kris,
    Satan loves to destroy families, friends any relationships you have. We should strive for peace–to shod our feet with the peace of Christ!!! I’ve noticed this in my life a lot in the past & didn’t realize it was Satan. Now I can see clearly that He was in the middle of all this!! My motto has always been Ephesians 4:26-27 “Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” Trying to always apologize for mistakes I made or things I said. I always tried to express my sorrow & talk about my stressors & ask for forgiveness. We both would hug and kiss!! Now my focus is on prayer as much as anything! I find myself praying to keep my mouth shut and love Him for who he is!!!
    Blessings :)

  • @i_am_his_Eph1

    Your relationships- I didn’t really think that this strategy applied to me, until I read through it. You see, my husband and I are a blended family. Often times the friendly fire comes from ourselves. Coming together to lead a family to Christ becomes difficult when both sides bring to the table very different histories and parenting strategies. Instead of remembering to remain a united front, so often the enemy will try to separate us, coming against the very thing that binds us together, Love. He will underhandedly sneak in and press tender areas to cause division and chaos. After all, a family at odds cannot serve Christ when it is distracted. Our prayers and focus become hindered. As the revelation of this truth came to me I now know how to be watchful to not allow the enemy opportunities to divide and conquer. Prayer changes everything. I loved being a part of this study.. Thank you!

  • http://www.undergraceandovercoffee.com Andrea Mitchell

    This is a hard one for me – we recently left a wonderful church because of hurt we sustained there. In one of our darkest seasons, the people we thought we could count on suddenly disappeared into the shadows, leaving us to fend for ourselves. It was ugly and it was hard. Now we are in a new church and it is hard to allow ourselves to trust and feel comfortable there, even though we want to. I know this is the enemy trying his best to keep us from truly engaging in community, so I’m grateful for the guidance from this chapter on how to pray to combat it.