It's not your faut...but you can fix it

Are you in conflict with someone right now?

Maybe it's your teenager.  Or your co-worker.  Somebody at church or in the neighborhood.

Maybe it's your spouse.

Ask yourself some questions about that...

What bothers you about that person?
What is the source of the angst between you?
What would you like to change about this relationship/that person?
Do you think things can get better?

This isn't a post about changing the other person to make this better.
And it's not a post about changing yourself.

This is a post about the problem.

I continually surprise myself at how easily I get distracted from the real problem.  How quickly I can slip into thinking that my relational concerns are the rooted in someone's quirks or issues or even their sin...or my own.

Those are not the root but rather the leaves and branches of the conflict.

Ephesians 6:12 spells out the problem clearly - For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

The root of the conflict between you and your child, you and your neighbor, you and your spouse is not the other person.  And it's not you.  It's not any person - it's spiritual.

The spiritual forces of evil that wage war in the heavenly places against the saints.
It's not a sci-fi movie - it's real.

The unseen powers of wickedness that temporarily rule over this world are the cause for the problems in your relationship.  The source for the conflicts that torment us.  That's the enemy.  That's who we need to battle...not the other person.

How easily we are deceived into blaming someone for the tension, the separation, the pain that exists in our relationships.  We battle the pride and selfishness and anger and greed of our friend, our child, our spouse...and ourselves.

And we keep losing.
The conflict persists.  Intensifies.  Breaks us apart.

Because we're fighting the wrong combatant!

We don't have to lose this war.  We don't have to experience the casualties of conflict. But we do have to fight. 

The right hostile forces.
With the right weapons.

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
2 Corinthians 10:4

Spiritual forces cannot be defeated with fleshly weapons.

Arguing, pleading, manipulating, even counseling are insufficient (sometimes even more destructive) in our struggle against them.
We need divine power.

The weapons God has divinely equipped us with are found in Ephesians 6. Verses 17, 18 - the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 

Two weapons.  Divinely powered to destroy the real enemy in our relationships.
Prayer and God's Word.

No substitutes will effect the change we want, the peace we desire, the blessings we seek.

Take a moment.  Ponder that relationship that is in such strife. 
It's not their fault.  Or yours.
But you can fix it.

Pray God's Word over the problem.  Into the conflict.  Unto victory.

(Suggested resources - Stormie Omartian's books - The Power of  a Praying Woman, The Power of a Praying Wife, The Power of a Praying Parent ; Beth Moore's Praying God's Word )