It always seems that whenever I get closer to God, and doing what he wants me to do with my life, that I face the highest amount of opposition. I don’t know about you, but that is when the biggest distractions of life just hit me in the face repeatedly. I wont give out any details today in order to protect the people involved in my situation, but I will tell you how I am dealing with this opposition in my life, and very effectively to note!!!
THE WORD OF GOD, CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, and THIS BLOG!!!!
First off, the word of God is the most powerful thing to use in every single situation in our lives. Right now, I cant help but look back and think of the suffering that was received by some of the most righteous people of the time.
First, lets take a little look at Job:
We all (well most of us) know this story, the devil and God had a small battle over this mans life, the devil thought that he could tempt job to deny God by bringing about a lot of suffering in his life. God did not believe it to be so. Satan unleashed death, starvation, pain, sickness, and more death on Job. Here is what Job has to say about that
And said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (NIV)
22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
Now, This next set of verses was after the physicians of the time came with their opinions, wisdom, and advice about what was happening to job and why it was happening. They thought there must be some reason for such suffering. because it only makes sense that it was that way in a human mind. This “wise” man, Zophar the Naamathite was claiming that Job had not the wisdom of God. This is a short exerpt to give you the basis of his arguement:
“Are all these words to go unanswered?
Is this talker to be vindicated?
3 Will your idle talk reduce others to silence?
Will no one rebuke you when you mock?
4 You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless
and I am pure in your sight.’
5 Oh, how I wish that God would speak,
that he would open his lips against you
6 and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom,
for true wisdom has two sides.
Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.
7 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
8 They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do?
They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know?
9 Their measure is longer than the earth
and wider than the sea.
This is a perfect example of how even a follower of God that you would have once trusted can in fact be the very voice of Satan in your ear. This is a form of opposition we face on a constant basis. The opposition of other Christians. Here was Jobs response:
12 Then Job replied:
2 “Doubtless you are the only people who matter,
and wisdom will die with you!
3 But I have a mind as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know all these things?
4 “I have become a laughingstock to my friends,
though I called on God and he answered—
a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
5 Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune
as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
6 The tents of marauders are undisturbed,
and those who provoke God are secure—
those God has in his hand.[a]
7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.
11 Does not the ear test words
as the tongue tastes food?
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?
13 “To God belong wisdom and power;
counsel and understanding are his.
14 What he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
those he imprisons cannot be released.
15 If he holds back the waters, there is drought;
if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.
16 To him belong strength and insight;
both deceived and deceiver are his.
17 He leads rulers away stripped
and makes fools of judges.
18 He takes off the shackles put on by kings
and ties a loincloth[b] around their waist.
19 He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows officials long established.
20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers
and takes away the discernment of elders.
21 He pours contempt on nobles
and disarms the mighty.
22 He reveals the deep things of darkness
and brings utter darkness into the light.
23 He makes nations great, and destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
24 He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;
he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
25 They grope in darkness with no light;
he makes them stagger like drunkards.
That was a long one, but to me it was well worth putting every word in this. Even if it means I lost ya!!!! The wisdom of man is nothing. Now, I’m not saying that talking to other Christians is a bad thing, because (and I will discuss this shortly) Christian fellowship is the second most important thing to have under your belt. What I’m saying, is that if what they are saying cannot be backed up with the word of God, then ignore it. Respond in kindness, and ignore it. Also, and as Job so clearly said “Counsel and understanding are HIS”. Meaning, if God is telling you one thing, do NOT let the lips of man distract you from it. Would Noah and his family have been around to repopulate the earth after the great flood if Noah had listened to the naysayers that were surely around?!? No, we probably wouldn’t be here either.
God alone can reveal The deep things of darkness and bring that darkness to light, so why do we doubt God because our “fellow”, and equally inferior, man is telling us to?
Secondly, and I wont delve too much into this, but just dwell on it for a second: Jesus christ DIED for us. Now if that isn’t opposition (among the millions of other problems he had faced) I don’t know what is. Keep that in mind the next time someone comes along thinking they are “holier than thou”. Would they have DIED for you?
I hope that all made my first point rather clear! Now, my second point, is that christian fellowship IS very important when it comes to ENCOURAGEMENT. Now if your friends are being negative, run. I don’t mean truly wise counsel that can be backed by the word of God when you are facing trouble, I mean people tearing down your God given convictions simply because it makes no sense to them. A truly wise fellow Christian will advise and encourage you to seek Gods will in all that you do, and not to follow human reasoning and understanding alone.
I have a friend, who is actually my sister, that will listen to me completely, and whether or not she agrees with me, she prays for me. She will encourage me to follow my convictions to whatever end, and allows me to keep on the path of righteousness. She gives me correction when I need it, and encouragement when I feel low. She isn’t the only friend who does this either, I have been slowly adding friends and fellowship to my group because the more the merrier!!! We are human, and it is natural to need someone to talk to. We just need to make sure that those people are those of positivity, encouragement, and faith.
You wont get anywhere with a negative nancy on your back!!!!! Now im not saying to drop anyone that disagrees with you, but when disagreement turns into negativity and discouragement, you need to find that line, and cut it. Do not allow anyone to pull you away from your walk with God, and if that is someones aim, lose them.
Now in some cases, that negativity can come from the people closest to you. Your best friend, your family, sometimes even your spouse! I have learned lately that it IS possible to love them and get past these things, even if they aren’t willing to. You just have to stand by your convictions no matter what the price, cost, or end result may be. If they love you, then eventually they will understand, or at least leave you be with your decisions. If they continue to try to wedge you away from God, then you need to spend less time with that person, and more time with God. Pray for them, about them, and with them if you can! One day, your perseverance will pay off.
1 Peter 2:19
For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.
Finally, in terms of releasing my emotions, thoughts, and feelings so that they may help others who may be dealing with similar opposition, I find that this blog had helped immensely. Find your own way to get it all out, and allow yourself to express your feelings. do it without sinning, but get it out of your system so that in the end, you can rest your focus on the only one who deserves it: God.
Just remember, that God is greater than all things, and how you face your opposition is what MAKES you…. well, YOU!!!! When you put God and his commands front and center, there is no end to the things you will achieve. Opposition will be pressing against you until the end of your days, but in the long run, these days are short compared to eternity with our heavenly father and his reward for your obedience and faithfulness in him.
- The Spirit of Wisdom (pastordanboatman.wordpress.com)
- Christian or Christ-Like? (livethevictory.wordpress.com)
- Resist the Devil and He Will Flee from You (James 4:7) (agapeforme.wordpress.com)
- Opposition – Why and What to do with it. (olgatodd.wordpress.com)