Look with me at 2 Timothy 2:22‑26: Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
We follow these things by speaking them, acting upon them. We make sure our words are those of righteousness. We make sure they are pure words, filled with faith, charity and moving through compassion. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive;
Who is the servant of the Lord? You? Absolutely! But be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves;
Do you oppose yourself by speaking words that are contrary to the Word of God. If God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
The NKJ version says, That they may come to their senses escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. When you oppose yourself, you are doing one thing. You are in strife. STAY OUT OF STRIFE! Strife is contention, fighting, bickering and gossiping. When you are in strife with one another you are taken captive by Satan to do his will. There is no choice. It is clear. Stay out of strife. Look at The Message Bibles version of this scripture: 2 Timothy 2:22-26: The Message (MSG) Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands
The moment you enter strife, you destroy all the faith that you were putting forth. It stops and you do not get what you were trusting, believing God for. AT ALL COSTS, STAY OUT OF STRIFE. Remember the words in response to Gods’ angels and Satan’s angels. Ecclesiastes 5:6: King James Version (KJV) Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?
We just read Ephesians 4:29King James Version (KJV)29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Where it says to let not corrupt, adulterated, poisonous, tampered, stained, rotten, infectious, defiled, disguised, false, counterfeit, misrepresented communication proceed out of your mouth (my expanded version). These words breed strife. When you are in strife, Satan holds you captive in a snare. Held as a prisoner, handcuffed and kept in control by the enemy.
Remember you never reap what you sow. You reap more. If you sow strife, you will reap more strife. From one apple seed, the tree reaps hundreds of apples. The law of God works. When you set strife in motion, you will reap more. Break it and don’t enter.
That is the one most important reason that people do not receive from God. Another minister may tell you differently, but I am convinced of it. You cannot receive from God when Satan has a hold of you in captivity. Satan will make sure of it. All the confession in the world will not make a difference if you are in strife.
Strife, anger, contention is not the part of the love walk, just the opposite, Scripture tells us in 1 John 4:17: Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There can be no strife in Jesus, so we are also to have no strife, as He is so are we now, here in this world.
One type of strife he brings is confusion, a form of strife in your mind. A person who is confused argues with himself. His thoughts fly back and forth in conflict with one another. A double minded man is not at peace.
Yet the Bible clearly teaches us that peace of mind is our heritage. The devil attempts to steal it by attacking us with worry, anxiety and confusion. The Word shows us the way to maintain it:
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You” (Is. 26:3).
“But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord” (Is. 54:17).
Wherever strife exists, so does envy. Where strife and envy exists, so does confusion and every evil work. James 3:13-16 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Message Bible version: Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.
A contentious person is a person filled to overflowing with strife, look at the definition of contention and notice how very alike it is to strife. Dictionary.com, “Contentious as an adjective means the following: “tending to argument or strife; quarrelsome: a contentious crew.; causing, involving, or characterized by argument or controversy: contentious issues”
There are ways to deal with those filled with strife and contention.
A) Spent more time in prayer and the Word.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
Here, Satan is coming after Jesus. The so called, temptations of Jesus. I say so called, because Satan could not tempt Jesus. He overcame them by speaking the Word. You only become tempted when you fall into them. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. When you grasp the Word of God within your heart, it provides the bread for you. If you are working, working, working to obtain, to just get by, go work overtime in the Word of God. He will make a difference for you. Start living from the Word of God. Every Word, every audible voice, every kind of word that comes you judge in one of two ways.
TWO KINDS OF WORDS
There are two kinds of words in the Word of God;
1.The Logos ‑ the written word. Something said or written, the reasoning of the mental faculties, the divine expression of God as Christ was, an account, to cause, to communication, a doctrine, the intent of the mouth, preaching, questioning, or reasoning.
The better way to sum it all up, is the expression of thought. God has given us His thoughts and has expressed them in His Word. We don’t take anything away from this by saying, “I have the Logos.” Or “I have the Word.”You need this to get the Rhema. Ministers say, “you don’t have to worry about the Logos. Get the Rhema and you’ll be okay.” however to get the rhema, you need to study the logos.
We read in John 1:l: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Every time you read word in this scripture, it refers to the logos. The divine expression of God. The logos Word of God is the written will for us.
2 The Rhema ‑ the revealed Word of God to you.
Rhema creates life within you, makes the Word real. Gives you the confidence to say “I know that I know.” I know that the Word is real. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. You hear a lot of people confess that but they can do nothing. They don’t have the rhema of the Word of God living within them. When they confess that, it is still the logos. The logos has not transferred to rhema. There is nothing wrong in continuing to confess. One day in that confession, BANG, you will know that you know that you know. You can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens you and no one can stop you. You will know then the rhema Word of God. Inside, you know that you have deliverance, health, healing, prosperity, you are saved andwill be in heaven. All these things come as you receive the rhema of the Word. It became life to you.
For with God nothing shall be impossible. Luke 1:37 Speaking of confession, this is a good verse to confess … for with God nothing shall be impossible. The word nothing, is rhema. If you look it up in the Greek, it is rhema. For with God no living word shall be impossible in you. For with the rhema of God all things are possible. When the Word becomes alive in you, nothing can hold you back. The rhema of the Word makes the difference.
Let’s look at Matthew 12:36,37 again. I am not a Greek theologian so I am going to stick in logos and rhema. But I say into you that every idle word (rhema) that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement.
For by your logos you shall be justified, and by your logos shall you be condemned.
Does that bring a clearer meaning? Idle means unemployed, lazy, barren, useless, or slow. Having that Word of life within and not employing it, causes it to be idle. Receiving the engrafted Word of life within themselves, they cause that Word to stop. It becomes idle. The rhema becomes barren and useless. If you do that, you are going to give an account for it.
How many people do you know who will tell you, “You can be healed by the stripes of Jesus.” Most will not believe God for their healing. They speak it yet tehy do not trust God to deliver it. That every idle rhema that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of Judgement. For by your logos you shall be justified, and by your logos you shall be condemned. What’s that … in the day of judgement? The words you speak are going to come back to you. Today is the day of judgement. The kingdom of God comes from within us. Today is the day of judgment and by the words you speak you either justify yourself or condemn yourself. When you take that living Word and make it useless, you hang yourself. But what saith it? The word (the rhema) is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word (the rhema) of faith, which we preach; Romans 10:8
The living Word is in your heart and in your mouth, the living Word which we preach. You make that Word alive within you. It’s what got you saved, isn’t it? It continually brings you into a position of prosperity with God, the living Word. Many people are sitting in their churches or sitting at home reading the Word and being good Christians. I am not bringing any condemnation upon any one. I am just telling you to make it alive in your heart.
Often, you find people who finally get the revelation of the Word and say. “Wow, did you see that? Did you get that?” No weapon formed against me shall prosper, and any tongue that rises against me in judgment I shall condemn for this is my heritage. (Isa 55:11) For many people, that means nothing.
“What do you mean no weapon formed against me shall prosper.”
There is no life in it to them. One day they suddenly realize they are in a war. The battle is with Satan, not the person sitting next to them. They then realize that Satan is coming against them with many weapons. The scripture becomes real and alive to them.
“Hold it a sickness, isn’t that is a weapon. Poverty too, that’s a weapon. The Word says that no weapon formed against me shall prosper. Disease. You can’t come! Destruction, you can’t come!” It can’t come. For it becomes alive inside. Is there a difference in confessing the scripture and when the scripture comes alive?
People recite scriptures religiously daily that are not alive to them. “Boy, I’m glad I got through that today.” Make the word alive, study the scripture, meditate on the scripture until it becomes alive. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema) of God (Romans 10:17).
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth that is not living. Let blameless, exemplary, pure, commendable, admirable, exceptional, valuable, beneficent, favorable, gracious, honorable, unblemished, trustworthy, genuine, cheering and pleasant, living Word of God create faith in your heart.
The rhema Word of God is always what sustains us. It is through the rhema Word of God that His Word is real to us. It is the rhema Word of God that we should be constantly confessing.
Taking communion you remember what God has done for you. The rhema brings it to your remembrance. The things you believe to have not yet happened. That is not what you are remember. You remembered, I’m healed, I’m saved, I have prospered and am delivered. The rhema of God brought it into your remembrance.
When you find yourself in a situation when you need something from God, go to the logos of God. Find the promise and make it the rhema. You need, the faith, the logos, and the rhema. The rhema is going to cause the answer to happen.
The Word of God says that every promise of God is yes and Amen but they do not become yes and Amen until you’ve got the rhema. “I know that I know and you are not going to take it from me. It is the living Word and I will not back off from it for anything for anyone at anytime.” That is what Paul had in Romans 8:38 when he said there is nothing could persuade me from the love of Christ that is in me. He had the rhema of the Word of God.
We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:28,31). That is a rhema. That brings life within you, and causes it to be real inside. If God be for me who can be against me?
Drawing a line and say, “Satan, if you cross that line, you are dead meat.” You’ll put up with so much from the enemy then you’re going to decide to attack him. Why draw the line! Forget that. The Word says that if God be for me, who can be against me? “Satan, I’m going after you now. I’m not going to wait for you.” Have it become the rhema inside you. It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing: the words (the rhema) that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63
If that scripture is logos to you, stay in the Word until it becomes rhema. Spirit and the life you will receive. If you abide in me, and my words (my rhema) abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7
The living Word abiding in you causes life to come out from you. … you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. Why do people not receive after confessing and confessing and confessing? The living Word hasn’t become alive and wavering. Stay in the Word. The logos will create the rhema within you. Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things. Deuteronomy 28:47 NKJ
If you took out the “did not” out of this scripture, it would read … Because you served the Lord your God with joy and gladness you will have abundance of all things. What’s all things to you? Everything that you require. To serve the Lord with joy and gladness takes the rhema Word of God from within you. If it’s traditions or doctrines of man, you will be persuaded off of it. God does not take first place in your life, something else will and you will live within this curse. When God becomes second place in your life you don’t have the rhema any longer. To keep God first place in your life, you must have the rhema of the Word. The rhema will cause you to want to serve God with joy and gladness in everything. When you do, you have the abundance of everything that is good from God in your life.
The next thing that is needful in dealing with those in strife and contention is:
2) Move the focus from the negative to the positive. Those in strife are always negative, they see only that which is wrong or bad. Their words are full of hate and hurt and are ready to attack anyone at any moment. So it is important to stay on topic and positive. While seeing what is negative and speak such we must see the positive and speak so.
3) End draining relationships. These relationships are exhausting and generally have no good outcome, so terminating them as quickly as possible is the right thing to do. Avoid the drama that surely will come. Just finish the relationship as quickly and effectively as possible. The contentious person may respond in anger is certain to lash out verbally and perform as we see in scripture.
You have heard the expression “you complete me” (which of course can only be done through Christ) but when dealing with a person full of strife the expression truly becomes “you deplete me.” They are masters at taking from you, your peace, your comfort, your self assurance, and they havoc with your emotions. They really do deplete a person, this is why during such a trying time one turns to the rehema word that is planted within draw comfort from it. John 14:16; And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever”
Many of the contentious people are those who have certain talents that drew us to them first. Their egos however get in the way of the talent and become very insecure within always fearing that someone with better talent may come along and they become replaced. Rarely is the talent that is the problem but the insecurity expressed in the ego. Any questioning of the talent becomes a bone of contention, we see this often in actors, musicians and in my occupation, chefs. They have not learned that the humble get the promotion not the arrogant. Instead of contributing you find they spend more time complaining thus little to nothing is completed. It is like they enjoy strife running to it whenever they may, yet scripture tells us to act just the opposite. Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. Amplified Bible (AMP) Rush not forth soon to quarrel [before magistrates or elsewhere], lest you know not what to do in the end when your neighbor has put you to shame.
Terminating the relationship with strife is utterly important for yourself as the seven things hated by the Lord are seeded within his spirit of the person who lives in strife. Proverbs 6:16-19 Amplified Bible (AMP) These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren.
Our charge is clear, make a clean and concise cut in the relationship and seek after the Lord, He is all we require to walk through the contention in victory. Psalm 34:13-15 Amplified Bible (AMP) Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it! The eyes of the Lord are toward the [uncompromisingly] righteous and His ears are open to their cry.