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Though they plot evil against you and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed. Psalm 21:11 (NIV)

Have you ever gone through one of those periods where nothing you do seems to go right? I’m not talking about the economy, health issues, and the world-wide instability of natural disasters. I’m talking about those personal issues that keep you awake at night or follow you through the day, leaving you with a knot in your stomach. It seems like every day you are under attack in one or more areas.

Perhaps you are in one of those periods right now. You are in a hard relationship and it seems like nothing you do is helping to bring your spouse or significant other back into the loving relationship you once had.

It could be with your children. You’ve raised them the best you could. You’ve worked hard to give them everything they need (and maybe a few things they didn’t need), yet they still are growing away from you, away from God and away from the lifestyle you worked so diligently to instill in them.

Workplace relationships can be a breeding ground for conflict as well. Economic hardship, differing opinions on things, over zealous new employees, job security and

‘inappropriate friendships’ are just a few of the obstacles you can face at the workplace. You may be able to add to that list.

The hardest attacks we endure are the personal ones. Sometimes they are unintentional, other times they may not be. It doesn’t really matter whether they are intentional or not though because the stress they cause is the same; the battle for your soul is no different.

When we feel under attack the first question we ask ourselves is usually ‘Why?’ Why did he/she leave me? Why did my son/daughter do that? Why does my co-worker treat me like that? What did I do wrong?

Self-reflection can take us one of three ways. We blame others; we blame ourselves; or we blame God. The critical thing for us to remember is that all conflict comes from the great enemy, Satan. I’m not in anyway inferring that your co-worker, child or spouse is Satan in disguise! (You don’t want to go there!) However he is the ultimate source of all conflict either on the outside or within your soul. His desire is to pull you away from God and to keep you entrapped in a mindset of defeat, guilt and worry.

Here’s the good news. When you are operating within the will of God, nothing you do will fail. That may seem like prosperity gospel, but it’s not. I didn’t say everything will go well; the sky will always be blue and live will be grand. But God’s plan for you can never be thwarted by the enemy’s plans. When God is in something he promises that his work will be completed. Nothing can change that.

So, when you come under attack for something you have done, ask yourself this question: “Did I consult with God and follow his direction before acting?” It is imperative that all of our relationships be bathed in prayer so that his wisdom can work fully through us.

There are times though when you have prayed, studied and opened your soul to God and the struggle still rages on. It’s during these times we need to ask another question: “Father, what are you trying to teach me in this?”

We often look at struggles or conflict as failure when in reality its God’s way of teaching us something. I used to coach youth basketball. I would tell my team each year that I’ve never coached a team that lost a game. Of course, they’d look at me a little funny because they knew some of my teams had ‘come up short on the score.’ Then I would tell them, “if you learn something from a game where you came in second, you’ve never lost because winning is about learning, not coming in first.”

Make your Heavenly Father the basis for all your relationships. Remember that even when you are following him closely, struggles will come at the hands of the enemy. Ask your loving Father to help you learn from each conflict.

PRAYER: Father God, I’m tired of the struggles I face with other people. I confess that often the conflict in my life is because I’ve gone on ahead of you. Help me to follow your wisdom in relationships and learn from you when conflict comes. Amen.

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May 2012
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