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To Rise Above Conflict, Remember Who’s the Real Enemy


We’re humans with varying opinions and preferences so we will at times disagree with one another. God, however, seeks to bring unity out of diversity so our differences have the potential of making us better when we take a Christ-like approach. When disagreements escalate to outright conflict, we have a problem. The enemy, Satan, will piggyback on our human responses, making insignificant issues into mountains. We then fight against each other. To rise above the conflict, we need to remember who the real enemy is.

Remember that Satan is the Real Foe

Scripture describes Satan as our adversary prowling about like roaring lion seeking whom he can devour (1 Pet. 5:8). When we’re fighting each other, we’re no longer thinking clearly so we may more easily fall prey to the devil’s tricks. We’re distracted so we’re no longer on the alert to what may be happening in the spirit world.

The Bible refers to Satan as a schemer (Eph. 6:11). He uses cunning tactics meant to deceive and trick us. He attacks our hearts and minds with lies that push us into defending our positions at all costs. We get to viewing disagreements as attacks on our personal worth and feel betrayed and hurt which leads to anger and a need to avenge ourselves. When both parties feel the same, we’re headed toward division.

To Rise Above Conflict Stand Against the Real Enemy

Armor of God Needed in Conflict Against the Real Enemy
Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. Verse 13 continues with “therefore” which cues us in on how to rise above. — “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

God’s armor includes what we need to keep our disagreements with one another from turning into conflicts that become putty in the real enemy’s hands.

Since the devil is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44), we need to be held together by God’s belt of truth. That means we “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).

Because Satan tries to stir up negative attitudes within us toward one another, our hearts need to be protected by God’s breastplate of righteousness. We need to maintain the same attitude of Christ toward one another, that of humility and servanthood (Phil. 2:1-8).

Since one of the devil’s ploys is to divert our attention off of what really matters, we need God to fit our feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. We need to pursue that which is based on our common bonds in the gospel which leads to peace, not having to be right.

Due to Satan’s relentless attempts to get us to believe one lie after another, we need to hold up God’s shield of faith. When we find our security in the Lord, the darts of the enemy can’t penetrate.

Because one of the devil’s tactics is to skew our thinking, our minds need to be protected by the helmet of salvation. When we look at life from our position in Christ due to our salvation, we maintain the perspective we need to rise above (Col. 3:1-17).

Since Satan likes to make things murky, we need God’s sword of the Spirit to cut through the darkness. We need an absolute standard outside of ourselves, the Word of God, which is “sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12)

For more about God’s power, check out the Steering the Church Toward God’s Power Leadership Guide.

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