You might be wondering about why I’m so insistent. It’s not because it’s from Proverbs 31 Ministries, and I’m part of the team. It’s not because I love my phone so much that I can’t even put it down in my quiet time.
It’s because First 5 has me more excited about reading the Bible in the morning than I have been in the longest time.
And God is using that little app in the most powerful way in my life. He’s reminding me that His Word is for me. To speak to me daily. Right in the midst of my circumstances. When they’re joyful. And when they’re stinky.
This week, I have to confess that I’m feeling stinky about some of my circumstances. I’m smack in the middle of some relational stuff that’s making me squirm, and I have two friends in separate cities who are in far worse situations than I’m in. It’s enough to make a Jesus-loving girl want to move to Costa Rica and build a hut on the beach with some palm fronds. (Yes, that little scenario might be well-enough thought out to make it seem like I’ve been dreaming about this for days.)
The reforming perfectionist in me wants to run. To hide. To disappear. I hate the imperfection of conflict and unsettled relationships. In the past, I would back out of the room so stealthily that you’d wonder where I went. You’d turn around… and POOF! I was gone. But God has been teaching me a different way, so here I am sitting at my computer typing instead of enjoying ocean breezes on the coast of South America.
I dragged myself out of bed this morning longing to curl back into a fetal position for the rest of the day, and I dropped my heavy limbs down into my “quiet time chair” to start on Acts 15, today’s scripture for First 5.
That’s where I found it. Just what I needed.
Acts 15 is the account of the conflict in the early church over circumcision. The party of the Pharisees –those rule-loving folks– said that the new Gentile believers had to be circumcised to be saved, but scripture says that Paul and Barnabus were in “sharp dispute and debate” with them.
I actually love that the Bible uses the word “sharp” to describe the conflict. This word leaves no room for thinking that these guys calmly and gently talked through this matter. This word makes it clear that there was passion and vigor and maybe a little raised volume.
To get the whole fabulous, scriptural lesson about the marks of healthy conflict, you’ll just have to download the app, but here’s the statement Whitney Capps used that captured my heart this morning:
[Tweet “Unity is often found on the other side of conflict… healthy, Holy Spirit-resolved conflict.”]
Acts 15 shows us how to behave in the midst of conflict. Was everybody involved happy slappy at the end? I doubt it, but God’s people acted like His people and sought His Word, His will and His best in a hard situation. They moved through conflict into unity.
That’s when I knew God was speaking straight through His Word to me. This isn’t a time to run. This isn’t a time to disappear or move to Costa Rica. This is the time to draw close to God’s Word and to His people. This is the time to work it through and work it out. This is the time to jump into the deep instead of jumping ship.
What’s God’s Word speaking to you today? I’d love to hear!
Thanks to all of you who left a comment to enter to win Come with Me! Congratulations to Mary Louise Buchiere (5.10.16 10:39 am) who is the winner! I’ve sent you an email for your address. 🙂
Please note my new policy: I announce winners here and send personal emails, but I will choose a new winner if I haven’t received your address within a week.