Fires generally start from a small spark, and when sparks of conflict between people are ignored or left to smolder over a period of time, they quite often erupt into a firestorm that seemingly consumes everything in its path. And when infighting and deep rifts among Christ-followers are permitted to fester, it too can turn into a wildfire, destroying the unity of the church, slowing ministry momentum by taking focus away from more important matters, and even worse, causing people outside the church to want nothing to do with Christianity.
Here’s what we can bank on: Whenever God wants to do a special work in and through the church, our Enemy will be ready to pounce in an effort to stop God from accomplishing what He wants to do. We’ll see that firsthand this week as we take a closer look at the fifth chapter of Nehemiah, but we’ll also find that there are steps we can take to prevent conflict in the church and in our relationships to keep it from spiraling out of control.
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