Conflict Is Not A Strange Thing

"For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I . . . For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not . . . For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do . . . I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me . . . But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members" (Rom 7:15,18,19,21,23)


Desire for favorable and pleasant circumstances inherent within man

The desire for favorable and pleasant circumstances is part of our makeup. It is as though we long for the tranquility that characterized the beginnings of our race in Eden. A preference for trouble can be developed, but it is contrary to our nature.

Sin has made us vulnerable to the wicked One. Craftily, the devil persuades people to act out of harmony with even nature. Sodomy is an example of living in contradiction of our basic constitution. Drunkenness is another, with other indulgences that cause the mind to become virtually useless. The enjoyment of pain and trouble are also unnatural propensities.

Made in the image of God, we cannot be truly content with struggle, adversity, and trial. David expressed the deep-seated desire of all humanity when he said, "O, that I had the wings of a dove! for then would I fly away and be at rest" (Psa 55:6). The compelling effects of hope speak to this part of us, enabling us to overcome conflicting influences within and without. That is why it is written, "For we are saved by hope . . . " (Rom. 8:25).

God's "eternal purpose" and the end of time

There is an "eternal purpose" that is at the root of God's involvements with humanity. Properly seen, it becomes a powerful motivation to us for good. Divinely conceived, it is woven into everything that God does. That objective has to do with the elimination of all variance, conflict, and turmoil. It focuses upon everything in heaven and earth, and is being carried out through Christ Jesus. The Spirit succinctly states this purpose in Ephesians 1:9-10. "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him" (Eph 1:10). This is the "eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Eph. 3:11).

While this "eternal purpose" has not yet been fully realized, we are living in the final stages of its development. With this objective in mind, the Spirit revealed, "Once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Heb 9:26). Those in Christ Jesus are said to be those "upon whom, the ends of the world are come" (1 Cor 10:11). Again, it is written, "this is the last time" (1 John 2:18).

All creation is moving toward this ultimate objective. "Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" (Rom 8:21-22). The absence of all corruption is simply another way of viewing the presence of perfect harmony.

The desire for harmony that is integral to our nature is a faint but powerful reflection of that purpose.

Error of equating victory with the absence of conflict

There are several erroneous doctrines in the "church" world. Some of them have a very good sound to them, but that is only because of Satan's craftiness. They are all designed to turn us from the focus of God's "eternal purpose" and engage us in temporal pursuits, many of which are religious, but vain.

One of the primary misconceptions Satan has foisted upon unsuspecting souls is that of equating spiritual victory with the absence of conflict. This is something humanity wants to hear, but it is still false. While we are in "this present evil world" (Gal 1:4), conflict will be present. There are times of spiritual respite, when the waves are not so high, and the winds are not so disruptive: but contradiction is always present, like it or not! While we are "in the body" no provision is made for the dissipation of trouble. Those that seek such a condition in this life are really hurting and handicapping themselves.

God does not promise calm seas and blue skies while you are in this "vile body" (Phil 3:20). Jesus was "straitened" when He was here, and you will be too. "But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!" (Luke 12:50). Faith addresses this situation, enabling us to triumph: but it does not eliminate trouble, vexation, war, and conflict! When these are removed, faith will no longer be needed!