How should we respond to opposition?
It is said that Jesus, on His way to Jerusalem wanted to pass through a certain Samaritan village, so He sent his messengers to prepare for Him.
However, things did not go according to plan because the Samaritans refused to receive Jesus and His disciples. His two disciples, James and John wanted to retaliate by calling fire from heaven to come and consume the inhabitants of this village.
The account says that, after Jesus had rebuked these disciples for wanting to punish the Samaritans for not allowing them entry into their territory, “They went to another village”. But before proceeding to another village, Jesus reminded them of His mission statement and said “The Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them”.
Unity is not uniformity
We see a huge difference between how Jesus and his two disciples viewed obstacles and opposition. Most people, like James and John would advocate for the complete destruction of all the people who oppose them or carry different opinions from them. We like to surround ourselves with “yes-men” and “yes-women”. Always remember that unity is not uniformity. Let us take advantage of the diversity of opinions and views among us. The scriptures remind us that there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit; there are differences of ministries, but the same Lord and there are diversities of activities, but the same God, who works in all. Although a life of no opposition seems to be very convenient to us, it certainly takes us nowhere. Use opposition to take you upward. We all face obstacles in life. It is how we handle it that determines the outcome. Do not fall into the pit of bitterness but shake off discouragements and use them to get up and go higher.
Somebody once said “a challenge nourishes the mind”. Do not pray for a life of no obstacles and difficulties, for this is an application for no personal productivity in your life. God will never answer prayers that seek to destroy other people simply because they do not agree with you.
Do not abuse the power of God by fighting His people. Remember people are not your real enemies, for the Bible says that we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities, rulers and spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. Christians and churches have to decide whether they are going to follow Christ or make up their own gospel.
Go to another village
We see in our text that Jesus never allowed hindrances to make Him lose His focus. He was never deterred by the blocking of His plans. If you are opposed on one level, break out on the next higher level. If you are opposed in this village, then pass on to the next. We thank God that life is full of alternatives. Whenever you are blocked or when you hit a brick wall, be ready to ask yourself the question, “What else can I do?”. God has a way of making your obstacles into opportunities. Limit your agenda for God, because He probably has better things planned for you than you imagine. Rigid people always hurt themselves or other people.
No need to commit suicide over a broken relationship or over bankruptcy. You can not have your way all the time. Even when you have been completely blocked or when your plans are thwarted, there is always “another village” to go to. How many times have we given up or made poor decisions on account of tremendous opposition coming our way? Opposition builds muscles. Opposition breeds progression
No opposition, no progression. Kites fly high because of the action of contrary winds. God allows opposition in your life to build you and not to break you. I therefore urge Christians to embrace the attitude of the Master with respect to life’s unfavourable circumstances.
For us to be able to view obstacles as opportunities, we need to die to self and allow the Spirit of Jesus to lead us. Nothing frustrates the Christian who has died to himself. It is said that, the next village that Jesus and His disciples went to was, in fact nearer to Jesus’ final goal.
He did not have to go far the next day. Most of the blessings that God send to us usually come to us disguised as obstacles, opposition or hard work. No wonder why most people always miss their day of visitation. We always want it easy. Ask God to show you that when one village remains closed to you, there is always the next one. The next village will always be closer to your goal than your original plan. Remember, the good things of life are usually hedged about by the most difficult circumstances.
To all who feel trapped at certain level in life, ask God to give the power to break out on a higher level. The good Lord never closes a door in your life, unless if He wants you to enter through another one.
This is not to say that we must not persevere in life. God is not calling us to become quitters. We should therefore renew our minds, embrace the mind of Christ and ask Him to baptize us with the Spirit of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, so as to be able to prove what good, acceptable and perfect will of God is. Remember, God does not want you to get stuck in a rut. If you are hindered on one level, you can break out on another level.