Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A World at War

In the lower council chambers here in the halls of Minas Tirith there was a meeting. The International Council was there. The Prince Imrahil and his wife, Legolas and his wife, Gimli and a few others were in attendance. Before the council started Legolas' wife came to me and ask if we could discuss team unity. I thought that was a good topic of discussion and admittedly we had been working separately quite a bit lately. Not a terrible thing but obviously we wanted to support each other as much as possible.

The meeting began amicably enough and we discussed a few mundane things that one seemingly must discuss in meetings like this even though everyone knows there is no eternal value or significance to any of it. Then I brought up the topic of unity. I invited Legalos' wife to speak to the several ideas she had that would help us work together better. She began to lay out the problem that we all had good ministries going on but that very few of these overlapped. We were all working separately and needed to take steps to support each other.

The Prince was the first to speak. He challenged Legalos and his wife to see that they were in fact the ones separating from the rest of us. Then Legalos responded, then his wife, then the Prince, then the Prince's wife. Each was saying things to try and hurt the other. It escalated in a matter of a minute or two. I started to intercede when one of the volleys meant for Legalos' wife hit me. I was stunned. I sat there thinking, 'I know he did not mean to insult me, but I am insulted.' I knew then that this was an attack from the evil one- and a mean one at that. I sat there reeling in anger and confusion. I knew it was not real but I couldn't say anything. The 'discussion' escalated. I looked over at Gimli. He was sitting quietly with his eyes closed and his head bowed and resting on one hand. I knew he was praying for Jesus to retake control. I knew he was praying for me.

I sat forward with my elbows on my knees and with a HUGE effort I called out, "STOP." "None of you have intended this. None of you have wanted to hurt each other. This is not from you. Let's pray." And then we prayed and then I ended the meeting. People went up to each other and offered quick apologies. Several made efforts over the next couple of days to make sure relationships were right. I was exhausted. I felt like I had just sprinted five miles. If you want to know the truth, I was tired- bone weary tired- the whole next day.

So, for your meditation today, what was it that we faced that day?
Have you faced it before? And more importantly, are you ready to face it again?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been there brother. I know the complete exhaustion from doing spiritual battle for just a few minutes. My relief came in my release of ownership and allowed God to take over.
Thank you for being where you are doing what you and your team do. May the our Father bless you greatly.
Docadams

Anonymous said...

Totally been there.... know I will face it again and again and hopefully will handle it better than before. Thankyou so much Strider, you are a blessing. Angie.

Alan Knox said...

Strider,

I have been in similar situations. I have sensed the Spirit prompting me to act as you did. Sometimes I acted; sometimes I did not. I pray that your testimony will be an encouragement to me to speak up the next time I sense people speaking out of their pride and hurt instead of humility and gentleness.

-Alan

GuyMuse said...

Been there as well. Our people group tend to be confrontational and this has been part of our team experience. Usually though, people genuinely want to work through things and so we have found that it is best to go ahead and talk things out. It is always uncomfortable, but in the end we confront the "real issues" that are bugging people and can deal with them. What is infinitely worse is for people to cover up what it is they are really feeling and it simmer into bitterness and division.

Strider said...

With respect to Guy and Alan whom I greatly respect I wonder if you missed the point of my story.
I am not talking about people who have difficult personalities. I am talking about an enemy whose presence is real. We have had lots of team meetings that went great. We all tend to like each other. What happened that day was very unusual. I believe there was a real spiritual presence in the room fomenting disent and bitterness. As I look back over difficult situations in the past I wonder how many times that has been the case. Have you ever known churches, partners, friends, spouses who have split up and when ask why the fight was so bitter, why they were so upset they can not come up with a reason? I have seen this several times here in Middle Earth and I believe it happens in the West as well. Good people fight and divide and while both of them believe in a real devil they are convinced that this is all about themselves.
So, how can we maintain a theology of a real person who is the evil one and continue in practice to believe that every offense is really all about THAT troublesome brother?

Alan Knox said...

Strider,

I understood what you were talking about, and I agree with you completely. I do not think the enemy is "that troublesome brother". I do not consider other believers my enemy, even when they disagree, even when they are troublesome. I apologize for not stating that before.

I do believe that since that person is my brother, I am still responsible to speak to that brother or sister when they are sinning. Similar, I would expect other brothers and sisters to do the same when I am the one sinning.

-Alan