“Warring Magnets by Daniel Broyles”Categories: Do you enjoy peace of mind?
As a child, did you ever try to get two magnets to stick together? If so, then you remember that magnets will only stick together if you have them facing the right direction. If you have the same sides facing each other, then it is impossible to get them to stick together. They will always war with one other, no matter what. On the other hand, as soon as you flip one magnet over, you get that satisfying “click”. In fact, if at least one of the magnets is strong, it can become almost impossible to pull them apart.
Have you ever felt like that in your own life? There are times in our lives that seem like we are at war with ourselves. It is like our hearts and the lives we actually live are the same sides of a magnet that will not go together, and no matter how we try, they will not click. This becomes wearisome to the point that, sometimes, we feel like just giving up. We know something is wrong, but we cannot figure it out. Would it comfort you to know the apostle Paul felt that exact same frustration? In Romans 7:14-15, Paul wrote, “…For, I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”
What are we missing? Why can’t we get our life magnets to work?
It is because we are warring with the purpose for which we were created – obeying God. In the Old Testament, Jacob took advantage of his brother, Esau, and traded him a bowl of soup for his inheritance, and later, stole his lifelong blessing. It is no wonder that Esau hated him so much that he wanted to kill him! Jacob feared Esau from that time forward and was sent away. Later in Jacob’s life, God tells him to go to the land of Canaan where Esau resides. We can read in Genesis 32 that Jacob is wrestling with himself on how to go about passing through Esau’s land and waivered in his confidence about this travel. While alone, Jacob goes out and encounters a man, and they begin to wrestle (Genesis 32:24-32). After striving with the man all night, Jacob is injured by a simple touch. It is then revealed that Jacob had been wrestling with an angel of God. Jacob was warring with the command God had given him because of his fear of his brother. When he changed his will to align with God’s will, he was blessed by God, and his brother welcomed him with open arms.
In the New Testament, Paul recounts the story of when Jesus spoke to him. Jesus said to Paul, “It is hard for you to kick against the goads,” (Acts 26:14). A goad was used to encourage a stubborn ox to move in the right direction. The more an ox kicked the goad, the more painful it was for the ox. Jesus is teaching Paul the same lesson that Jacob learned in the Old Testament. Fighting against God’s will is as difficult as it is pointless. As our Creator, He knows what we need and what we need to do to be fulfilled on this earth.
Trying to make God’s will change to bind with our will is like forcing warring magnets together; it will result in nothing but internal war. However, just like the magnets, when we make the decision to align our will with God’s will, a bond is formed. We gain peace from this bond with God and become even stronger than we were before. Are you weary of warring against our Father? Are you tired of kicking against the goads? We can help you form that bond that brings peace and strength. Let us show you how.
Additional Resources Warring Magnets - Bible Study Guide Be Still - Sermon by Curtis Pope Nailed to the Cross - Hymn from Annual Singing with Tim Stevens
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A Youthful Perspective
Spiritual Conflict Resolution
By Lindsey Embry
There are times in life when we feel like we are at war with ourselves. In school there are days when it feels like I will never get it together. The homework will never be done on time, I’ll never choose a college, my room will always look like it was hit by a tornado. But there are bigger things to consider. My friends want to experiment with alcohol or drugs, or go to a dance. Should I participate in these things? How do I make these decisions?
The answer to all of these can be found in God. The Creator of this universe laid down some simple rules for us in His word, and life works best when we follow them. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your path.” When I focus my life on God and try to follow His word, life works better. That doesn’t always mean that everything goes perfectly. But through my faith in God I am able to remain peaceful and make decisions that can have positive, eternal effects.