Written by Jenna Brown
We've all been there... in a situation where the conflict feels overwhelmingly too close for comfort.
This thought has me wrecked this morning...
"On the other side of conflict is intimacy"
Have you ever been in the middle of an argument with your spouse, significant other, or just someone in general.. where things are SO heated, and for that split second (which could last days...) you are wondering why you ever got yourself into this relationship? For those 10 seconds, you outta there. you're trying to run and never be in this situation again?
But have you ever stayed and pushed through?
Did you see their perspective?
Did you eventually see their heart?
Did you experience intimacy in that relationship afterward?
Because you see another part of them. You see another angle of their heart or their brokenness that draws you to compassion. You gain perspective. You fight through the conflict and the desire to run to the hills, and intimacy is established.
Recently, I have been wrestling with different aspects of God's character. Things, I just cannot understand. Ive been angry, Ive been hurt and confused, and I've been disappointed. Honestly, I've been doing a ton of projecting the brokenness I experienced in my life onto the Father heart of God. Because we, as humans project the brokenness we have experienced from PEOPLE onto the heart of GOD. Why? Because people are supposed to be image bearers of God. He has given the ability to show us who he is. He's given that over even more specifically to mothers and fathers to show his heart, to show his character.. and we know that the enemy has come to steal kill and destroy that for Many of us...
This morning, as I sat in my prayer closet, I turned on a song, and part of the intro to the song she said... "You cannot have intimacy without conflict". and it hit me.
So many spaces in my life I have walked into intense conflict with God.
I wrestle on the daily sometimes with deep concepts, spiritual truths, and the effects of what I believe. I think through systems, and brokenness, and institutional mess, and its... suffocating sometimes.
And as I sat in one of those spaces this morning, God reminded me.. he gave me a very specific picture.
When I am running, and I want to quit, I have this moment where my body catches up to what its doing, when it gets achy and tired, and then where my mind starts saying "you can just quit, you can just start walking, its okay.. you got here, you ran, its fine to just slow down a bit"... and then I hear the Lord say "Push through...".
And I will. Ill push through. If on the treadmill, ill crank up that baby to a sprint, and I'll laugh in the face of the enemy. If on pavement Ill make my destination point further and run harder.
AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS?
I'll feel the "runner's high" ... which side note, im not telling you to go be addicted to runners high... But it feels amazing. To feel like you want to give up... and in the face of it, run harder than you've ever ran before. Breakthrough is in that.
So in conflict my friend
Whether its with your friend, your family member, your spouse or significant other, or with God.
FEAR is going to tell you that its unsafe there.
Fear will tell you that you may ruin the relationship for ever. FEAR will tell you that you may lose yourself there in the midst of the conflict. That you may lose your faith.
I see this often as I work so closely with familial relationships and the heavy amount of dysfunction within the family unit. The reason why people wont press in, wont get counsel, wont get out.. is always because of Fear. They are afraid that they wont make it through. They are afraid of the pain, of the darkness.
If only we weren't afraid of conflict.
On the other side of conflict, there is intimacy.
To be honest... with your relationships in your life.. there is a possibility that it could end in separation, in divorce even, in the break of a friendship.
BUT with God... if you are wrestling with the God of the universe... take heart friend.
"even when we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself."
That is the truth.
If you're faithless, he'll remain faithful. He can't not. If he stopped being faithful to you, he would deny himself, and wouldn't be God.
So for you friend, the one who wont even go into a space of asking a question of God because you are afraid that you are dumb or misunderstood, or lacking. Just do it. Jesus invites us into places of conflict within ourselves.. so that GOD himself can resolve his true character within us.
He is in the process of restoring all things back to himself.
The Father invites us into the places of conflict within us, because he knows that there is intimacy on the other side.
Part of my covenant with God... is that I will enter into the places that he leads. After all, he is lord of my life. If he leads me into places of testing, if he leads me into places of discipline, if he leads me into places of hardship... I choose to trust him. I enter into the conflicting parts of me that he is all about resolving and restoring back to his heart and original intent for me. Why?
Because I have tasted, and seen the intimacy before.
I know he is good.
I know he is worth it.
The runners high, has nothing on the spiritual intimacy that is established with God as I continue to say yes and run deeper and faster into his arms and heart. I AM NOT AFRAID that God is going to let me down. I AM NOT AFRAID that he wont show up, he ALWAYS does. I AM NOT AFRAID of my questions, they are nothing that he hasn't already resolved within himself.
DO not let fear absolve you from entering into a space of conflict.
Whether thats with another individual, or within your marriage, or within your relationship with God.
on the other side of conflict, if we run through it, if we persevere... we will have breakthrough.
We will go farther than we went the last time.
We will be proud of our results....
But ultimately, we will be intimate.
Dear friend. The original intent of God for his creation was intimacy with him. The work that Jesus did on the cross, when he came to destroy the works of the enemy, and restore all that which was lost, was to restore us back to the Father heart of God. TO RECONCILE us back to the heart of the Father, and his heart of intention for our lives.
The things that hold us back from that?
Fear that God is another name for evil.
A misunderstanding of his Father's heart for us.
A lack of faith to walk through the conflict.
An unbelief that we project onto God from the hurt and wounds others have given us on earth.
Lets just sit for a moment.
Lets just cast those away.
And lets stop pushing away the conflict.
Stop filling our lives with distraction.
Stop avoiding the conflicting questions within our spirit.
Lets go into them.
And when we go in.
Let's invite God into them...
Let's ask God to show us who he really is.
He will show up.
He will establish intimacy.
He loves showing up for his kids.
He LOVES revealing his heart and his nature of who he is.
Lets be a generation that is INTIMATE with our Father, that isn't afraid to run to him instead of run away from him.. or even run at all. LETS RUN hard, and deep and fast into that love. and know that on the other side of conflict.. there is INTIMACY like we've never tasted yet.