"It's my way or the highway!" Did you ever hear that phrase growing up? Or, at work? What about at school? Father God wanted us to add a special section on conflict resolution. Each of us faces different types of conflicts. A conflict can arise if a worker misses a deadline. But what if they intentionally do it to undermine their boss? Conflicts can occur with siblings if one wants to outshine another. There are even conflicts in churches between pastors and with congregants. A parishioner might undermine a pastor's teachings if they have a Jezebel demon. There are even demons online causing conflict and strife. They may post discouraging and hurtful comments which lead to negative groupthink. The goal? To show people in a negative light that then isolates and crushes them.
How do we deal with conflicts and resolve them? What's the best way to resolve differences when we're under attack from all kinds of demons? Let's explore this topic.
Perhaps there are people judging, criticizing, ostracizing or attacking you at work, school or home. They may attack your credibility with statements like, "God didn't say that," or "So, where's God now?" These are sometimes haters, naysayers and mockers. They can also include relatives and people around you the devil is trying to use to attack you. They're GOOD people but there's a backdoor that the devil is using to come against you.
And, maybe it's not the first time. You may see a pattern with a person continually trying to tear down what you build. It might be a spouse who always wants to argue. It can be a coworker who always wants to argue the moment you arrive at work. Perhaps it's a relative who says things that undermine what God is saying and doing in your life. One woman we know going through cancer treatments was waiting patiently on God to heal her. She suffered a crushing blow when her sister said, "Where is your God now?"
The concern is that too much conflict and too many battles lead to battle-weariness. Attack after attack can cause God's people to want to give up. It's not that you don't believe. But, if people keep coming against you, you can become so tired that you don't see the point in fighting. And, instead of rebuking them and their personalities, you start to doubt God and question why you're fighting at all.
It can be hard to understand why the devil comes against God's people. I remember facing a major battle and looking up online how to deal with my enemies. One of the responses from a bully shocked me. A man said, "I picked on them because Christians look like an easy target." I thought about it for a moment and realized he was right. Christians pray, are kind and very loving. And, for a demon working through a bully, they can't stand seeing the light of God's people shine. However, there's something important to understand.
God's people are not weak. On the contrary, we're stronger than the devil and his army because God gave His authority to Jesus who gave it to us. The problem is, just like we go from milk to meat, we have to grow into our authority. People think we're innocent kittens but we're really roaring lions (when we reach that maturity stage in Christ). And, that's what God wants to get us to. So, the conflict isn't always about the devil trying to crush and destroy us. It's God raising us up so we can stand in our God-given authority.
There are different types of conflict attacks that you might face. While the most common are value, relationship and task conflicts, for believers, other types of conflict can arise. These are attacks from the devil that are meant to undermine you. Hence, understanding how the devil might try to attack you can help you prepare yourself so you're not intimidated.
Here are a few conflict attacks and how to resolve them.
A person tries to intimidate or distract with noise, a loud voice or demanding tone. It can also include loud music or laughter when you're trying to focus on work or school projects. The goal is to distract and irritate you and get you out of the spirit. How? Through frustration in the flesh.
Resolution: Find a Balance, Go in a New Direction or Walk Away
If you need someone else's help to get something achieved, they might try to delay or sabotage the process to undermine you. This is a type of relationship conflict. An example is a sales manager that is intentionally late every month giving key sales figures his/her colleagues need. A student may withhold information on a team project because they don't want someone else on the team to outshine them. The goal is to get you angry so the devil can then work.
Resolution: Work Together to Achieve Your Goals
A person may bully another person and make them a target of abuse. This is common in work or school environments where there are cliques. It's also in some church ministries and family settings where one person spearheads the attack. Narcissists do this with 'flying monkey' attacks where they turn other people against someone innocent. An immature person might do this on social media if they're jealous that another person has more likes and followers.
As a value conflict, the person or group might have specific beliefs that clash with yours. These are fundamental differences or walls built up that cause disputes. The concern here is the person or group may have an inherent distrust and inability to empathize. This type of conflict is also found in the groups below (religion, social class, race, politics). The goal of the enemy here is to undermine you and make you feel insecure or inadequate.
Resolution: Meet in the Middle
One of the best approaches is to agree to disagree and stay on neutral territory. This is what's referred to as values-neutral. We're not going to get everyone on our side and we can't all get on their side. Instead of focusing on the areas you don't have in common, highlight what you do share. For example, Democrats and Republicans don't get along. However, there are both Democratic and Republican Christians who love God.
A person may assume their way is the only way. This is a type of task conflict that might involve an assignment of some kind. An example is a work colleague who always suggests their way is faster. Another is a student who doesn't want to consult their team members on a group project.
Resolution: Agree That There's More Than One Approach
State clearly that you're not competing. Some business environments use key performance indicators (KPIs). These help keep everyone accountable for their fair share of work. If you don't find that the other person is equally helping and doing their part, pray and ask Father God to intervene.
Some family members secretly sabotage others because they feel like they're not being recognized. Your light might also shine brighter so they may try to compete because they recognize your gifts and talents but can't see their own. Highlight their achievements and suggest they see the good they're doing. However, don't focus too much on this. Again, if the person is displaying narcissistic tendencies, less contact is better. Sometimes these personality types will continue to compete and undermine regardless of what you're saying.
A person in a leadership role, like a manager might undermine a subordinate or new person. The manager may assume only they can lead or only their way is right. As an example, a manager with several years of experience might not accept advice from a recent college graduate. Instead of embracing change, they may fear losing their job or falling behind with new technologies. An additional example is a church member who tries to undermine the pastor by picking apart their sermons.
Resolution: Make Corrections and Learn What Each Has to Offer
If it's leader vs. leader: Pray first and ask God when is the best time to bring up the subject. Then, have a talk and highlight that you both have differences and strong personalities. Discuss what you do have in common and work from that. Agree that there are different approaches and that's okay.
Use the CALM Method:
If it's leader vs. subordinate: Pray first and ask God for the right timing. Explain that you are in that specific role for a reason. And, you're there to teach and educate. With employees, talk to them first and if you see repeat behavior, then follow-up with HR. If you're in ministry, pray and ask for God's intervention and let Him guide you. Sometimes when a person corrects you it's not that there's anything wrong with you but they may be deeply hurting or lacking love and support, i.e., hurting people hurt people.
Is someone determined to get past you? Jockeying for position or trying to make themselves look better? A person or people might isolate another group because of a particular preference or preferences. The goal is to make them and their group feel superior. An example is a group of wealthy people who think they're better than others because they have access to more money and better jobs.
Resolution: Pray for Correction
Pray for God to intervene with this type of conflict. A person or group who think they're better than others likely need correction from Father God. Correction i.e., a humbling experience can show them that no flesh can stand before God. And, remember, the blessings of the Lord maketh rich and addeth no sorrow to it. It's God who promotes and no man can take what God gives you and preordains.
The devil likes to use all kinds of tricks and tactics to come against God's people. He might try to intimidate you through fear. Or, he might use a narcissism demon to attack you with manipulation tactics. We wrote an article several months ago, Recognizing Narcissists. And, when we did research on it, we came across a man having a problem with his wife. No one believed that she was verbally and emotionally attacking him. She refused sex and turned their children against him.
When we prayed for him, he mentioned how he was now sleeping in his truck because she made their home life a nightmare. It was easy to identify this demon because we'd seen it elsewhere. Another man shared a video online a few years ago about how his wife physically abused him and no one believed it. That is until he recorded it. He put on a GoPro and documented the evidence! Now, that's not to say you need to record the attacker. No. God knows all and sees all.
What you need is to know that you're not alone. You also need support to get through these types of tests so you're not afraid of encounters like these. And, the good news is that we have a loving Father God who is hear to help us.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2Therefore will not we fear," Psalm 46:1-2a
For starters, when you experience conflict and start seeing where others are trying to tear your foundation down, pray. We want to pray to Father God and pray to the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost so God can give us insight. Praying invites God in because you're saying, "Lord, I see what this devil is doing. But I don't want to fight back. Please help."
Notice we included "don't want to fight back"? That's important because you don't want to war in the flesh with another person but take it to God in prayer. Because we're spirit and God works in the spirit, we must work in spirit and truth so God can help us. The Bible confirms this with, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds," 2 Corinthians 10:4. That means when we seek God first and turn to the Bible we can receive help from God for the spiritual battle. But, we also have to equip ourselves with the right weapons for a spiritual battle, i.e., the full armor of God.
The next step is putting on your armor to protect yourself. Ephesians 6:10-18 is vital in the Christian walk. It helps confirm that our battle is not in carnal (in the flesh). We also learn what to use to stand against the enemy:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
The Bible clearly teaches us what to use for every battle. But, remember to keep your defenses up. As the Body of Christ, we are tested and the Bible teaches us that many are the afflictions of the righteous. However, it also states that God delivers us from them ALL!
Ultimately, there are all kinds of ways that the devil can try to come against us. However, stand firm on God's Word and don't let conflicts stop you from moving forward into what God has for you. Recognize the type of conflict and how to resolve it. Then, keep going. God is training you for greater and He has His Hand on you, so don't worry, fear or doubt. God will ALWAYS work it out and make the way! He KNOWS the plans He has for us. Keep reading your Bible and doing things that add value. Hallelu-Yahweh!