For practical purposes, "conflict" can be described as an absence of that perfect peace
from God that is addressed in Isaiah 26:3. It may be, of course, an interpersonal
relationship situation in which the steps to seeking forgiveness need to be employed, as
outlined specifically last week.
More often, it may be that general 'black cloud hanging over my head' kind of struggle,
having no knowledge of any particular problem or situation. The human tendency
at a time such as that is to kick into an anxiety, worry or fear mode. How can one
bring that conflict to resolution?
As addressed earlier, identifying our current focus is critical. I think of Peter, who,
with dangerous waters all around, was actually walking on water as He kept the Master
as his central focus. However, as he transferred his focus from the power and sovereign
authority of the Christ to the treacherous waves that lapped at his ankles, he began to
sink. Think about it ... Isn't that exactly what happens when we face problematic times
in this life (waves, if you please)? His resolution, as is ours, to return to the Lord crying
out for and being submissive to His mercy and grace. 1 John 1:9 assures us of His
forgiveness and cleansing:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Let's look again at the wording of Isaiah 26:3 in 3 phases:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee,
because he trusteth in thee.
It's clear to see that the root cause of conflict for an unbeliever is the lack of biblical
trust in salvation. However, for a believer, the basic problem is a lack of a consistent
God-centered focus in both thoughts and action. Perfect peace is the conditional promise
given to man, contingent upon 2 requirements.....salvation and obedience.
How, then, is one to resolve this conflict/lack of peace? As an unbeliever, Christ calls
Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest in
Matthew 11:28. As a believer, Paul admonishes the believers in Philippians 2:5-8 to
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took
upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found
in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the
death of the cross.
So in unbelief, the resolution is that of relationship through the shed blood of the Lord
Jesus Christ on Calvary, accomplished by the prayer of repentance and faith, according
to Acts 20:21. In the struggling believer, the resolution is that of fellowship, accomplished
by the prayer of confession and willingness to change.
(C) 1992, 2015 N.A. Collins
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