This week I found my self facing many conflicts. I just wanted to sit down and forget pressing on and pressing through. I felt as if my path was conflict to conflict instead of victory to victory. What a perfect place for the enemy to set up the perfect conflict scenario.
This conflict come quickly and unexpectedly. It riled up my emotions to where I almost was foaming at the mouth with anger. It was the plan of the enemy meant to harm me by causing me to lose control and say and do whatever I wanted from an emotional perspective. If I would have asserted my rights I would have lost this relationship and a very big part of me. All I would have had left was my pride but nothing else. All the work I had put into this relationship would have been gone. Still in that moment, I was so mad that I almost didn’t care. All that seemed to matter was vindicating myself. I almost allowed myself to free form anger. Almost!
I stopped to seek the Lord, He showed me what the cost of my pride would be if I asserted my rights. Truthfully, even then I didn’t want to humble myself and lay down my rights. I was so mad. That is when the conflict between what I knew was right and what I felt was right reached it pinnacle. I had to really set my heart to obey. I asked for help to obey. Help to humble my heart. That’s when I began to receive His reward for me.
1 Cor. 3: 9-15
9 For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s [b]garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God’s building.
God is always my co- conflictor if I turn to Him. He knows what needs to happen in every conflict I face. He is willing to help me. I am His field and He is continually at work in me. This is so reassuring to me as I know I need lots of cultivation. God is not going to get exhausted working in me or frustrated or disgusted with me and stomp off. He is faithfully working in me. This epic conflict was in His plan and would work for my good if I would just stop and seek Him with it. As God’s garden, I am capable of reproducing His seed in my life. His fruit should be abundant and evident. This conflict was just such a moment of harvest. What fruit would be bore? Would there be a good harvest from my actions or a tainted one?
10 According to the grace (the special endowment for my task) of God bestowed on me, like a skillful architect and master builder I laid [the] foundation, and now another [man] is building upon it. But let each [man] be careful how he builds upon it,
11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is [already] laid, which is Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
God has given me His Grace to skillfully build the relationships in my life, including the one I have with myself. I must not get careless or lazy and slap out words or thoughts even in emotional upsets. I have what it takes to have Godly relationships, which is Jesus as my foundation. He is my special endowment for my task, which is whatever relationship He places in my life. With Jesus as my foundation, I can connect with all people and still be stable and well-balanced. Even if the other person is attacking me. What the other person does or doesn’t do, says or doesn’t say, cannot affect the firm foundation of Jesus in my life.
12 But if anyone builds upon the Foundation, whether it be with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
13 The work of each [one] will become [plainly, openly] known (shown for what it is); for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done.
His grace building ability shows forth in my person. It cannot be hidden. It is my job to build and during that building, the fire always comes. If I let His Grace be the master builder in my heart, then there is no thing which I am working on, that will be destroyed. This conflict situation became impassable the minute my emotions rose up to be vindicated. There are some things in my heart that are highly flammable. Yet, His grace takes the most impossible situations and makes them possible and passable. His grace made a path through my volatile emotions.
14 If the work which any person has built on this Foundation [any product of his efforts whatever] survives [this test], he will get his reward.
15 But if any person’s work is burned up [under the test], he will suffer the loss [of it all, losing his reward], though he himself will be saved, but only as [one who has passed] through fire.
Every conflict, has one of two outcomes, reward or loss. By and through the Grace of God this conflict brought me reward. The fire came and He brought me through it. There have been many times I have faced a similar conflict and come out with only loss. This time was different because I let Him Help me.
Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
This test was a trial meant to destroy my relationship and part of me in process. Yet, as I went into it, I went with my heart humbled before my God not bowed downed to my emotions or my rights. Jesus met me there and walked me through it. This conflict had no power over me. It was hot and I was hot but I lost nothing. In fact I gained the reward. I honored God and He honored me.
This test showed the quality of my work in letting Jesus truly be the Lord of my life. I always profess Jesus but today I got to show Him. I am not ruled my emotions, circumstances or people, I bowed down only to my God. My work survived this fire and hopefully, by His grace continue to do so.