9. Expect Opposition and prepare to deal with it: The reason for your being was determined by your Maker before you were born. It sets you up for opposition. There is an enemy. He is Satan, Lucifer, the fallen angel that deceived the woman at Eden, tried to tempt Jesus and continues to taunt believers Rev.12:17. He constantly devises strategies to destroy the good that God wants to achieve in and through us. Jesus warned that the world would hate us; they will persecute us for His Name’s sake Jn.15:18-21.
The battle is spiritual, we cannot fight it by our own strength, for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood Eph.6:12.
The enemy’s greatest weapon is deception. Jesus called him the father of lies for there is no truth in him. Sometimes he manifests in people around us. He entered Judas. He is able to enter into prophets and cause them to steal, kill and destroy destinies Jn.10:10 by false prophecies. Other times he works through circumstances to frustrate us. Opposition is rarely confrontational.
The enemy often works from within us in a subtle but effective way. A blindfold of the mind enters as a thought or an imagination, a seed planted by what is seen or heard. The temptation of Jesus after His 40-day fast reveals Satan’s treachery. He first appeals to the flesh. When that fails, he works on the mind. Observing that Jesus was guided by the word of God., he then quotes Scripture Lk.4:1-13. That the devil departs until an opportune time is indicative of our need to be alert to his wiles. He is relentless; he will keep opposing us.
Apostle Paul counselled the church at Corinth to pull down the strongholds of their minds by casting down imaginations and everything that contradicts the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ 2Cor.10:3-5. Strongholds are shields, brought down by wisdom not physical strength Prov.21:22.
Jesus warned that we not allow ourselves be taught and seduced Rev.2:20; the one that teaches influences the mind, the one that seduces deceives, stirring up inordinate desires. We must not give heed to deceiving spirits or the doctrines of devils 1Tim.4:1. Test every thing you hear against God’s word. When men speak even with good intention, it may well be an overflow from a mind corrupted by the evil one.
How to deal with opposition?
* Weakness provides opportunities for wickedness to prevail. God’s Spirit is far superior to any other Lk.9:55, therefore stir up this Gift in you. Pray in the Holy Ghost, your faith is kindled and you receive strength. Do not underestimate the power of God in you.
* Pray also in understanding. God gives the discerning victory. Recognise that the battle is the Lord’s. Take your position in the place far above the enemy, the abode of the Lord of hosts, to engage Him in spiritual warfare on your behalf.
* God’s word is your defence. Shore it up to speak to your soul, to control your emotions and align the state of your mind to the truth. Never lack an ‘it is written… ‘ to dispel the lies of the devil. The destiny of the woman with the issue of blood was opposed. She spoke words of faith to herself and was healed Mt.9:20-22.
* Guard your heart. Watch what enters it via the eye and ear gates in particular, to distort your vision of who you are and what you are called to do. Align your heart to God,’s word to make it broken and contrite. Your humility causes the devil to flee when you resist him Jas.4:7.
* Speak to situations and circumstances that come against you. Angels do the words of God they hear you say Ps.103:20. Your words are the compass that steers the ship of your life to its divinely-appointed destination. Words remove obstacles so speak up Mk.11:23!