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Spiritual Conflict in the Local Church

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Reid is husband to Taylor and has been foster dad to many children. He is a young adult pastor in Edmond, Ok.



A brief survey of the Gospel of Mark leaves us with an understanding that Jesus is certainly no stranger to spiritual conflict nor does he back down from the adversary’s inhabitants. In these documented stories we see the Son of God’s interaction with Satan as opportunity to flex his power and authority but they also reveal his willingness to heal even the most reviled of society. For example, after crossing the sea in Mark 5 – Jesus heals a man from a legion of demon spirits by casting them out of him and sending them into a herd of pigs. These pigs rushed down the bank of a cliff and they drown in the sea. Again, this story reveals (1) the authority and power of Jesus and (2) the willingness of Jesus to heal a man who had been rejected from society because of who he was. The application of this example is useful for us in that we have confidence that Jesus is who he says he is – and he is capable of doing far greater things than we could ever imagine. Also, he is willing to step into the darkest of situations and meet us where we are – healing us from all uncleanliness.

Additionally, with any spiritual conflict in the local church a need for adequate correction is necessary for the life of individuals involved as well as the benefit to the church. For example, I was recently asked to join a group of men who were tasked by a wife to speak her husband about his alcoholism. Prior to meeting with the man our small group of men prayed and asked the Lord to use us mightily to turn this man’s heart to Jesus and deliver him from his sickness. Motivated and expectant of our God to do something incredible, we went to this man’s home with the hope of steering his life around but when we arrived a man full of hate and malice received us at the door. We asked to come in and sit with him awhile and reluctantly he agreed – only to leave us in the living room while he headed back to his den. As our small group of men talked about a game plan for ten minutes we built up the courage to gently but forcibly confront this man in his chamber. Yelling from the other side of the door he pleaded with us to leave – explaining to us that his life had no more purpose and that God had no use for a sinful man such as himself. But we were persistent – explaining that God still had an incredible life laid out before him. He finally broke down in tears as he opened his door – asking us to help with arrangements for rehabilitation.

It was an evil spirit that kept this man enslaved to his alcoholism – and it took spiritual conflict to confront him but by the power of Jesus we read about in Mark 5 and various other places throughout the gospel this man was given freedom and life everlasting. Amen.

© 2019 Ron Johnson