Strife has a way of creeping into a church when no one is paying attention. It usually comes in the form of a minor complaint and quickly feeds off any troubles or discontent to grow into an oppressive presence. Services and gatherings begin to feel a bit hollow or shallow – like something is missing.
It felt like something was missing from church. There had been some troubles and changes that started the rumors buzzing. The service was not what it had been. I thought, and even said, that strife was keeping the Holy Spirit out. The other morning my miscalculation hit me right in the face.
Strife is a master of illusion. The spirit seems big and oppressive but is really more like a gnat. It annoys and distracts. Strife can confuse my view but it can not hinder the Holy Spirit. It would be like a gnat trying to stop a tractor.
The Holy Spirit shows up when ever two or three are gathered in the name of Jesus. That is all that it takes. It is then up to those in the gathering to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit or be manipulated by the illusions trying to hinder that experience. Each time I go to church I can have “ears to hear” or I can be blinded by the distractions of strife.