Conflict is inevitable. The question isn't "how can we avoid conflict," but "how do we deal with conflict when it comes?" In Nehemiah, chapter 4, we learned some strategies for handling conflict in our lives as we watched Nehemiah handle the conflict he encountered in rebuilding Jerusalem's wall. Here are a few key points:
Work together; work on what's in front of you
By the time trouble came their way, the people working with Nehemiah were already united around their cause. The group built together, working on what was in front of each of them in order to ensure that there were no weak spots in the wall. When we each focus on the specific tasks God has placed in front of us within the church then the body can function in a healthy way, leaving it less vulnerable to attack.
Prayer is the first line of defense
Again and again, we see Nehemiah turning to God in prayer for guidance on all steps of the project. We should act no differently. Why? Because...
Our battle is not against flesh and blood
The haters aren't our chief enemy -- Satan is. The enemy is opposed to God and when we are engaged in God's work, opposition will come. But the good news?
It is God's power that fights for us!
The one who gave us this work will see it through to the end. God is on the journey with us. He is the power to finish and He is helping us now!
So, what's the bottom line?
When opposition comes, we should 1) Take the situation to God in prayer, and 2) Keep moving forward.
Questions to Consider:
- What has God put in front of me to do? Am I so busy wishing I was doing different work that I'm leaving my own work unfinished and opening myself up to attack?
- Is prayer my first line of defense?
- Am I trusting in God to fight for me?
- Where do I need to keep moving forward, despite opposition?