Friday, July 3, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Conflict

Jesus in the Conflict
A devotional by Mirachelle Canada

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” 
–Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Since the beginning of creation, our world has been defined by what is active and reactive.

In uncertain times it takes but one voice to claim the spotlight and stir up those willing to listen and then act based upon what they hear. Some join the crowd, while others flee it. Believers in Jesus Christ fall prey to the internal struggle and want to give in or give up. The constant barrage of information, imagery, and conflicting voices leads to desperation, confusion, lack of understanding, and forced reactions full of fear, anger, and resentment. All hope seems lost among the burden to make sense of things and bring the world back to right.

Does this sound familiar? It should. In the book of John, we read of the wondrous things that Jesus does near Jerusalem. The people welcome Him, follow Him, and seek after Him for His miracles. Thousands testify of His great love. Then a sudden a new, less public, voice spreads the rumor among them in John 7:25-26, “Isn’t this the man they were trying to kill? Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah?” Enter Doubt. Confusion. Fear.

The rumors continue to permeate into the people’s hearts. They question their belief in Jesus. What they thought was true becomes twisted into constricting lies. They go out again to seek Jesus but return to their homes manipulated by condemnation of public eyes. Enter Indecision and Division.

Hope is diminishing as the crowds grow restless and accusatory. Yet, it’s all going according to God’s plan for salvation through His son, Jesus Christ. And it is by Jesus’s example in the garden through prayer, reaction, and action (Mark 14:32) that He offers the way through the chaos of conflict.

Silencing the rest of the world, Jesus goes to a Gethsemane with his disciples to pray and seek the Father (God). He takes His trusted friends further in with Him as he faces deep distress (Mark 14:33) to where “His soul was overwhelmed to the point of death” that He asks them to keep watch for Him. Going further into His struggle to accept God’s will, Jesus asks for God’s mercy, that the cup of death would pass from Him (Mark 14:36). Then, He yields to God’s will and not His own. Finally, when He returns to find his friends sleeping, He wakes them with the final warning to watch and pray so they would not fall into temptation (Mark 14:38) as “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 

Only after returning a third time, though everyone was still resting in their own weakness, does he proclaim his readiness to accept that the hour of decision has come (Mark 14:41).

What then can we do when we find ourselves facing the chaos of the world when conflict rises? We can follow Jesus’s example. By way of through the garden of prayer and seeking God, He was prepared to die (to his own will) and accept dying on the cross of Calvary so that we might have life – and life eternal!

So, when we face the problems of the day, let us:

1. Pray and seek the Father (God), through His Son, Jesus, and by way of the power of His Holy Spirit. Repent of any sin in your heart and lay all burdens at the foot of the cross where they are covered by His blood that cleanses us from sin.

2. Ask others you trust to pray and watch over you by interceding on your behalf. Thereby, standing united in Christ with one purpose.

3. Ask God for His mercy over the situation and all who are involved.

4. Yield to the will of God, believing that He knows what is best in the situation and will produce an outcome that is according to His plan.

5. Keep watch and continue to pray, so that you are not tempted to react in the flesh as the world does, but are led by His Spirit with wisdom and truth.

6. Finally, proclaim your acceptance of the will of God with praise and thanksgiving, giving all glory and honor to God because of the victory that is given through Christ Jesus.

By following Jesus’s example, we can rise above the conflict, renew our hearts and minds like Jesus, and having passed the test by seeking and accepting God’s will, we are transformed by His Spirit to receive was is good, acceptable, and perfect in His heart.

Author Bio:
Mirachelle Canada is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director/producer from Northern Virginia, where she teaches television production at her high school alma mater.

She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Script & Screenwriting from Regent University and is an alumnus of Act One: Hollywood Film & Television Writing Program.

Mirachelle is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, American Fiction Writers Virginia Chapter, The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and Your Novel Blueprint.

She is currently working on her first historical fiction novel set during WWII.

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