Creflo Dollar - Exposing The Spirit of Strife
We got to do whatever it takes not to be in strife because as long as we're in strife we accomplish nothing. You just hear a whole bunch of rhetoric, a whole bunch of people with angry commentaries. You don't accomplish nothing. And I'm telling you in the name of Jesus, man, where there is strife there is confusion, confusion. Haven't you seen the confusion? Haven't you seen the confusion in our government? Because of the strife, there is confusion. Only God knows the evil work that has been birthed out of strife and out of this confusion.
Listen to me very carefully, ladies and gentlemen. This is so important. Look at this in the NLT. He says, "For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind". That's strong. That appears to me to be the very platform that the enemy uses to produce evil of every kind. Think about this, evil of every kind. You know, the coronavirus is evil. It's evil. It didn't come from God. It probably came from confusion. It probably came and started with strife. And natural men who are not spiritual men are not what the young people say woke or awakened to what this really means and what's really going on and the reality of what the enemy can do when you don't recognize what's happening where strife is concerned and how it's being used against you.
Look at Ephesians chapter 4:26. I just want to throw this in there because, Ephesians 4:26, it kind of lets us know that, you know; yeah, you're going to be angry, but don't allow sin to be birthed out of your anger. And the Scripture says here, "Be ye angry. Sin not". And he says, "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath". He's like, "Dude, if you don't control that anger and if you don't control your emotions, the sun will go down on your wrath and you'll allow the wrath to begin to govern your life and begin to take you places that you don't want to be". So this is why this is so important.
You know, Satan seeks to lead God's people into strife to get them out of love. He wants to lead, especially he wants to lead God's people into strife. And once you're into strife, you're out of love. That's so very important. Why? Well, look at 1 Corinthians chapter 13. For time's sake, let's just go to the NLT. 1 Corinthians 13, verses 1 through 3. Because getting out of love effects the results of our faith. God's made us promises. The only way we're going to get those promises is by faith. But if we no longer believe the love that God has for us and we no longer receive the love the Holy Spirit has poured into our hearts, our lack of belief in the love that God has for us will hinder our faith.
You know, a lot of people, they're just up and down where the love of God is concerned. One day they think that God loves them or they feel like God loves them, and the other day they don't think he does. And this is a issue that's got to be settled in your life, that you believe the love of God, you receive the love of God. And when you believe and receive the love of God, faith worketh by how much you believe God loves you. But if you ever go around thinking that God doesn't love you and God hates you and God's not for you, he's against you, that's going to impact your faith from being able to appropriate the promises that God has made for you.
Let's just look at this in the NLT when he talks about what love is. Verse 1 he says, "If I could speak all the languages of the earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal". And it's going to be very difficult for me to love others if I don't, first of all, believe that God loves me. The Bible said he loved me first. 1 John 4:19. He loved me first. Because he loved me first, I can love him and I can love other people. Because I know and believe that God loves me first, I can love myself and then I can love other people. I can love my neighbor as I love myself because I can now love myself because I believe that God loves me.
He said, "If I had a gift of prophecy and if I understood all of God's secret plans and possess all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains but didn't love others, I would be nothing". And then verse 3, "And if I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrifice my body and," you know, in working so hard and burn out, you know, "I could boast about it. But if I didn't love others, I would have gained nothing".
And that's very true, but I'm focusing in today on the very beginning of loving other people, and that is believing that God loves you. There's something that's so very important when you know that faith worketh by love, just like a car works by gas. You got to have gas in order for a car to run. I don't care what else you try to put in there. I mean, the cars that run by gas, then you have to have gas in order for it to run. The car that are electrical cars and they run by electricity, you have to have that in order for them to run and to operate. And so in order for our faith to run and to operate, then we've got to believe that God loves us, and believe in the love that God has for us, and believe that that love will equip us to love other people, and believe that that love will equip us to love ourselves. Let me show you what I'm talking about.
I use this Scripture quite often. Deuteronomy chapter 1. Deuteronomy chapter 1 and verse 26 and 27. What is it that will cause a person to rebel against the things of God? What is it that will cause a person to yield to the spirit of strife? Look what he says here in verse 26. He says, "Notwithstanding you would not go up, but you rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God". Now what would make somebody do that? Verse 27, "And you murmured in your tents and said, 'Because the Lord hated us, he hath bought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.'"
What was the cause of all of that? They didn't believe that God loved them. Somehow it had entered into their mind that, "Well, he hates us". And because he hates us, it's going to be very difficult for you to believe in his promise if you don't believe in his love. It becomes very, very difficult, and that's what strife is designed to do. Strife is designed, he wants to capture you, the enemy wants to capture you in strife to get you out of love. And then when you don't believe that God loves you anymore, then you'll rebel against him. He just sits back and he just watches the movie he produced and watches, you know, everybody make promises, everybody cuss each other out, everybody do all kinds of stuff 'cause he knows at the end of the day things are going to go back just like they used to be. And he wants to be able to sit on the throne in the middle of the darkness because we don't recognize the real enemy that is at hand.
You see, avoiding strife makes you strong. It does, it does. Because you have to put up resistance, you see? But discord and strife will make you weak. Discord and strife will make you weak. Look at Mark 3, verse 25. You got to avoid strife. You do that, it'll make you strong. But the discord and the strife will make you weak. Mark 3:25, and he says, "And if a house be divided against itself," look what he says, "that house can't stand". That house can't stand. If the government is divided against itself, it can't stand. If management and labor is divided against itself, it can't stand. If society and neighborhoods are divided against itself, it can't stand.
I mean, don't you see? I mean, these are spiritual, godly principles that are very plain, that where there is division you're not going to be able to stand. You're going to have to get rid of the division in order to be able to be successful and to stand, and the enemy knows that. So what does he do? He'll do everything. He'll supply all the little seeds necessary for division to come in, and he'll know that anything divided won't stand. A marriage divided against itself, it won't stand. It will not stand.
I mean, is this being made clear to you that we've got to attack strife, we've got to attack division? I mean, I'm looking at this thing that's going on in our world today and it's like, you know, our world is so dark they can't even see the real truth. They can't even see the real culprit. They can't even see the real issue behind the confusion, and that's what happens when we choose to ignore God and not pray in school and all those kind of things. When you make those kinds of decisions, it puts us just where we are right now today; just clueless and in darkness and thinking that our intelligencia is more important than the principles of God; putting us in a place where you say, "Well, I don't believe in the devil," and not recognize that's the very thing he's been working for, for you not to believe that there's a devil.
We got to wake up. We got to wake up in this nation. We got to wake up in the body of Christ. Look at what's happening here. Shake yourself and wake yourself up and say, "No, I'm not going to fall for this any longer". Don't become captive by the enemy. Now, Paul began to instruct believers, and he began to show us the things that we need to do, the things that make up strife; that if we begin to look at certain things, we can fight against the spirit of strife. I want to give you a few of those things right now; at least six of them. Number one, if we want to fight against strife, follow after things that make for peace and build others, build others. Follow after things that make for peace and build others.
Look at Romans 14 and 19. Follow after things that make for peace. You know, don't just be someone that always wants to stir contention. Follow after things that make peace. Romans 14:19 says, "Let us therefore follow after the things which make peace and things wherewith one may edify another". Is that happening? You can start by making sure it happens in your own life. Go after those things that make peace. Be the guy that wants to be the peacemaker. Go after the thing that's going to cause this thing to be peaceful right here, and the things wherewith one may build up another person.
Now, if we will begin to see that in our nation, good Lord, you're talking about a powerful nation 'cause we're always looking for the things that make peace. Imagine if the Democrats and the Republicans would just take that one Scripture there and say, "Let's come to a table and let's compromise and follow the things that will make peace and let's do things that will edify another person, let's do things that will edify our nation and our country". But when that's not done, you see strife and confusion and every evil work even though we have clear instructions in the Word on what to do.
Let me show you another one. Number two, Romans chapter 15 and 5. He says, "Be of the same mind so we can glorify God together". Be of the same mind, Romans 15 and 5 he says, "Now the God of patience and consolation grants you to be likeminded one towards another according to Jesus Christ". So now here's the problem. Somebody says, "Well, I wouldn't mind being likeminded". But he said, "According to Jesus Christ, be likeminded".
According to Jesus Christ, be likeminded. There's got to be this place where everybody agrees that's the place where we'll agree on. The Bible says how can two walk together except they be in agreement? And this Scripture is strongly recommended. He says, "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded". He provides and has given you everything you need to be likeminded one towards another, but according to Christ Jesus, amen. Let's look at the third one here. Have no divisions. I've already spoken on that, but let's look at it again. 1 Corinthians chapter 1 and 10. Have no divisions. Have no divisions. Racism is a spirit of division magnified in hate. I'm aware that racism is a quick judgment of a particular race of people to try to rate them superior or inferior and then begin to operate in bias or partiality, and all of that is governed in strife. It's governed in hate.
Look at what the Bible says here. "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak," watch this, "the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment". So here's what happens. When we decided to kick the Bible out, you know, "I don't want to live my life according to that". Man, you remove the common denominator and you tried to replace the common denominator with something else. Imagine a nation that can come together in agreement on the Word of God.
Imagine a nation, I can imagine them with the constitution and the Bible, with the constitution and the Word of God. And we try to figure out why do we have such an amazing constitution. 'Cause of the Word of God. And then things have changed and things were not considered, and we really need to reconcile some of the things so that all races can be equal in that great body of work. But I tell you what? We can't get rid of the Word of God and expect to ever come to a place where we have the same mind and the same judgment. You know, my prayer is that this United States of America will return back to the Word of God as their final authority.
Somebody say, "That's not going to happen". What I don't understand is in a court of law why do you have somebody put their hands on the Bible, lift their hands up and say, "I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God". I mean, somehow we see evidence that it was a serious, serious document and book that we all could come in agreement on. It was the authority. And I don't know what happened. Over the years, people just backed away from it, but I'm believing God that we'll come back to the Word of God as our final authority. We'll come back to the Word of God where every decision now will rest based on what that Word says.
Somebody says, "Oh, that's futile. I don't believe that. I am going to pray. I'm going to continue to believe God that somehow some way there will be such a great awakening in our nation that we will come back to the Word of God as our final authority. I believe it. I believe God can do anything. I believe God can change hearts, can change minds". I tell you what. I guarantee you this one thing. If things get so bad that you just don't know what else to do, I bet you you'll turn to the Word right away. There's wisdom in that Word. There's a place where we can come together and get the same mind, amen.
Here's the next one. Ephesians chapter 4, verse 1 through 3 he says, "Bear with one another in love". Bear with one another in love. We don't have to agree on everything, but we've got to learn how to disagree agreeably and still walk away from the table loving one another. I mean, you can't decide that you don't want to have nothing to do with me because I'm not a Democrat, or you don't want to have nothing to do with me 'cause I'm not a Republican, or you don't want to have nothing to do with me because I'm not an Aquarius or a Pisces. I mean, come on, man. Jesus and our grace has got to be a lot bigger than that, and just a lot of people just don't know how to disagree agreeably. We take it so personally and we don't understand how to operate in this thing where we're bearing with one another in love.
And you just got to make your mind up that, "I'm going to figure out how to love you somehow, and I'm going to stay in love with you," 'cause love endures. In Ephesians 4:1 through 3 says, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called". Verse 2, "With all lowliness and meekness and with longsuffering, forbearing one another," how? "In love". And look at verse 3. He says, "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace".
Man, I tell you, if we'll get back on this Word; we get back on this Word as a nation, we get back on this Word as a corporation, we get back on this Word and it creates this unity because we're united on the Word of God. Brother, I tell you what. You talking about a strong nation. You're talking about a powerful community. You're talking about a powerful corporation. God will see to it that it will be just that. Here's the next one. Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit. Philippians 2 and 2. Do nothing out of rivalry and conceit. The Bible says here, he says, "Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded". There it is again, there it is again. "Be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, being of one mind".
Strife wants to tear that all up and has in a lot of cases, and we got to do something about this. We got to do something about it. And then let me give you the last one. Look beyond your own concerns to the concerns of others. You recognize how powerful that would be. Everybody has concerns of their own, but I want you to recognize how amazing it would be if we can all begin to walk this way. "I'm going to look to the concerns of others more than I look to my own concerns".
In fact, God has made it this way; that when you begin to look to the concerns of other people more than you look to your own concerns, you know what he does? He makes sure that he takes care of your concerns. It's like a boomerang effect. What comes around goes around. What goes around comes around. You throw the boomerang out, it's supposed to come back to you. Man, we got to get rid of this selfishness to the place where we can look at other people's situation and concerns more than we do our own.
In Philippians 2, verse 3 he says this. He says, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves". Somebody says, "Oh, I just can't do that. I just can't do that". Yeah, man, if you understood what was on the other side of let each esteem others better than themselves. I'm telling you, I believe God's just trying to get our character back right. I believe, you know, character is what you do when nobody's looking. Character is doing what's right because it's right and then doing it right. It's what you do when nobody else is paying attention.
I think we're so concerned about everybody paying attention to us that, you know, we're doing all kinds of crazy stuff. But I'm telling you, God is calling us to begin to examine our hearts and examine the real deal. I mean, you know, in most of our lives, we do things because we want validation, and we're working hard for validation even if it embarrasses us. We're working for validation. And so that says to me that you're doing things, but you're not doing it out of the sincerity of your heart. And if you're not sincere in what you are doing and you're just doing it to be validated by other people, then maybe you don't need to be doing it at all. If that's the only reason you're doing what you're doing is to get some validation from somebody, maybe you don't need to do it at all.
'Cause there's some people in the world we'll never know their names, we'll never know where they came from, we'll never know a lot about them and they did great things not to be validated, but because they did it out of their heart. They did it out of love. They did it out of the concerns for other people. It's so hard to believe when people do things why they did it because they search for the validation. But to be able to do something without being validated for it, without getting an award for it, without having to brag on yourself, but you did it out of concern for other people.