Standing In The Face of Opposition

"Standing in the gap involves difficulties and invites opposition." Wilfredo De Jesus, What Happens When God’s People Stand Strong

Sometimes people have to overcome circumstances that prevent them from embracing all God has for them.
Unhealed wounds, un-forgiveness, unfounded gossip and unrelenting resentment can drive a wedge between people that won’t be smoothed over with a smile. Sometimes people can inherit the previous generation's baggage. Wounds that occurred during stressful times of war, immigration or discrimination can leave marks on the hearts and souls of others for generations. But, other times, our own sinful nature can take over. For example, a man cannot accept the promotion of a younger employee so he works to sabotage him by undermining him in the work place. A woman desperately wants a child so she steals an infant from a local hospital. The reputation of a business is compromised as a disgruntled employee tampers with an over-the-counter pain reliever and the company is forced to recall the product from stores world-wide.

Enemies and challenges are normal & should be expected.
The truth is people can benefit during times of uncertainty and vulnerability. Sometimes the disgraceful actions of others enrages us or the undeserved pain of others breaks our hearts. However, we cannot act impulsively. God calls us to respond wisely. He doesn't protect us from experiencing the challenges. There will be specific times we are called to move past our anger or fears and do what God asks us to do. Our relationship with God builds trust in him and we can advance with faith knowing God will equip his followers with the courage they need when they need it.

Nehemiah left a dream job to build something greater for God.
Nehemiah had a comfortable dream job with great influence. But, a holy discontent was created within Nehemiah as he listened to one of his brothers reveal the terrible conditions of his hometown of Jerusalem. Nehemiah did three things that could be an equation for us to follow today as our hearts filled with holy discontent concerning the gaps in our world. Nehemiah prayed to God, he created a plan and then proceeded even in the face of opposition. I believe it is a very wise move to go to God first and check our motives before engaging into a situation that could have serious consequences. Developing a plan often requires a team. Consider who you may recruit to develop a God-centered team. Pray and plan but be prepared for opposition as you proceed to fulfill God's kingdom work. We never truly know what God is building. We may be amazed to learn that all along he's been more concerned with building the leader within us than anything we could ever build with our hands.

"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." Galatians 5:13-15 NIV

-Pastor Jen