Friday, November 17 – Joshua 22:33-34
The word pleased the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel blessed God; and they did not speak of going up against them in battle to destroy the land in which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad were living. And the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad called the altar Witness; “For,” they said, “it is a witness between us that the Lord is God.”
Have you ever had a bad first impression of a person only to find, as you got to know him or her, many of the assumptions you initially made were wrong? It can be funny to look back and remember these stories when we have the clarity to see that we were mistaken. The beginning of this week’s story from Scripture looked nothing like how it ended. What was initially a point of contention worth battling over, became a symbol of a united commitment to God. The first impressions of the situation gave way to a stronger relationship with each other and with God. How was such a transformation possible? It was through the practice of humility, submission to God, and pursuit of one another they were able to come to a place of a stronger bond.
Only by God’s grace and through the power of the Holy Spirit is this kind of peace possible during conflict. Galatians 5:22-26 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit as well. Let’s not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” May God fill us with His Spirit so that His fruit may abound. When we follow the Spirit in our conflicts, we will be amazed by how even the most turbulent relationships are transformed by His power.
- What would it look like to follow the Spirit when you are in conflict? What would the fruit of the Spirit look like in a moment of conflict?
- How have you seen a difficult relationship transformed because of Christ?
- Pray and ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit in moments of conflict so you can see His transforming work.