Have you ever experienced resistance? Have you ever set out to do something and others questioned you or asked why (or what) you were doing? Today, I want to talk for a few minutes about what to do when we feel resistance (real or imagined) and how it can actually become our friend and lead us into some great places!
Let’s be real-we would all like everyone to agree with every decision we make and see and love us for who we really are, right? Have you noticed that this does not always happen? This used to really bother me because I had such a need for others to approve of me. I had so much insecurity in my life that it really mattered what people thought of me. Of course, it is natural and a God-given need to be fully accepted and loved for who we are. But what happens when we aren’t? What happens when we feel resistance from others over who we are or what we are (or are not) doing? God does not want us to have the mentality that others are “out to get us” whenever they do not agree with us. Many times people simply have different opinions than us. Sometimes they are hurting or experiencing issues that cause them to take their frustrations (and opinions) out on us. Either way, experiencing resistance is a part of being human, so let’s look at how to see it properly and deal with it when it comes.
We can learn many spiritual principals from what happens in the natural. Weight training gives us some insight into the truth that resistance actually is designed to cause us to grow. When you are weight training, your strength and endurance will remain the same….until you add more weight. True growth can only occur when more weight is added. The resistance you feel in your muscles is a positive thing! It is the same in our lives.
When life is easy and we are sailing along, we are not really growing much. It is when we face a trial, a difficulty, or sometimes just flat-out warfare from the enemy of our souls that we grow and become like Jesus the most. Let’s look at a few ways that resistance can be our friend:
1. Resistance causes us to re-evaluate who we are. Isn’t this the truth? There has been an issue with someone close to me lately that has pushed about every button on what I believe about myself. While it is not fun, I have a choice. Am I going to let what they think of me cause me to go back into the nasty pit of fear and shame that Jesus has delivered me from? No way! While God does not like that this is happening, He is using it to bring out the “fight” in me. I realized on my walk this morning that this is what He was hoping my reaction would be all along! I am a fiesty person and if you press me into a corner of the possibility of going back to my old ways, you just got a fight on your hands! We have to remember that we are not fighting against flesh and blood (people), we are ultimately fighting against Satan and his lies (Ephesians 6:12).
While pouring out my heart to Jesus last night about this situation, I realize the person that I have been dealing with is really hurting and disappointed and simply taking it out on me because I am in their sphere. This truth will really help us because there are times that we take out our anger and frustration on others, leaving us needing mercy.
2. Resistance causes us to re-evaluate what we believe. Yep, I have some situations right now that have me growing in this area, too! How about you? Sometimes we do not know how strong we are until we are faced with a bit of opposition. It can be anything from living in this world where the core beliefs are not what we know to be true from the Word of God to us having to face some situations where we need to speak up and go against the flow. If we are willing and hungry to be made like Jesus, He will use anything. Remember back to a time when you had a heated discussion about an issue. What was your reaction? God will use these times (and more) to know where we stand on things that are important.
3. Resistance causes us to draw closer to Jesus (If we allow it to)! As we looked at already, not all difficulty is from the devil. Some things we experience in this life are just that. Some things are just hard when you are trying to live for Jesus. It is hard for people who are not sold out completely to Him to understand why we make such radical decisions to follow Him. Sometimes it is hurtful when people do not get you. Things do not always turn out the way (or in the timing we had planned). But all of this becomes covered in grace and the love of God as we bring it to Him and allow Him to give us true perspective.
We need to draw closer to Him and not away from Him because of hurt and disappointment. Jesus wants to give us eyes to see what He sees-to see the bigger picture of what He is doing. He wants us to trust in Him so fully, so deeply that no fear, no trial, no difficulty will keep us from living so near to Him. He wants to breath new life on us today. He wants to speak to us today. Daddy God wants to take us in His arms and speak loving, affirming words over us today.
Let’s allow Him to do just this. Let’s stop for a few moments (or more, if we need to) and allow His presence to overtake us and bring us to the place where we realize that we are more than overcomers, more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), and we are stronger than what we have been experiencing because of who we are in Jesus!