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SERMON: Preventing Walls of Hostility

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one, and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” Ephesians 2:14

Conflict can produce hostility. Years ago, I was asked to be one of the worship leaders at a church where they had never experienced a woman in a leadership position. The circumstances surrounding this caused discord among some of the people, and opposition started brewing within their hearts.

I could have easily felt hurt, discouraged, and abandoned. I almost questioned God’s purpose. I turned to scripture and found King David’s story.

Before David became the King of Israel, King Saul attempted to take his life several times. During years of fleeing, David could have allowed anger and rage to fill his heart toward Saul, and toward God whom he believed had anointed him for this task of leading His people. Yet, in his moments of frustration and suffering, he asked God to search his heart and allowed God to fill him with peace.

Conflict can turn into frustration and unforgiveness, which can breed anger and build a wall of hostility between our relationships with others and with God. We all have experienced hurt, pain, or a time when others wronged us — and where we may even feel that God has forsaken us — yet, those are the moments that God desires to surround us and fill us with His peace that transcends our circumstances.

The peace of God can demolish hostility. We must check our hearts daily and ask God, like David did in Psalm 139:23, to “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”

Heavenly Father, forgive me where I have harbored unforgiveness and anger towards others and towards you. I ask that you break down the walls that I have put up that are keeping me from experiencing the fullness of the relationship that I can have with you and with others. Fill my heart and my life with your peace. Amen.

By Brigitte Straub

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