Working for Jesus? Expect Opposition.

when you work for Jesus, expect opposition from the enemy

Daily Spirit & Word: 800: Expect Opposition.

When the LORD calls you to do something for Him, expect opposition.

Good morning my friends, when you do a good work for the LORD you can expect opposition. If you are of the world, the world will accept you as one of it’s own, but if you are a Citizen of Heaven, working for another KING, then this world and it’s king (Satan) can never accept you and you are going to be opposed, persecuted and sometimes martyred. However, far from being in a position of weakness and fear, we’re going to be encouraged today to see that we can be God’s awesome power of LOVE in this world.

Opposition comes in many forms, but how can we react to opposition, no matter what form or guise it come in?

Let us take Nehemiah as one of our examples of what to do when opposition comes, and we’ll look at what God’s Word tells us about persecution and opposition for Him and for the Gospel.

First, Nehemiah:

An Example of how to proceed when your work for the LORD is opposed, ridiculed or hindered.

Nehemiah 4:1-23 (NIV)
1  When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews,
2  and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”
3  Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!”
4  Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity.
5  Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.
6  So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
7  But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry.
8  They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.
9  But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
10  Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the labourers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11  Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
12  Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13  Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.
14  After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
15  When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work.
16  From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armour. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah
17  who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,
18  and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
19  Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.
20  Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
21  So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out.
22  At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so that they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day.”
23  Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.

INTRODUCTION:

When you get busy for God, opposition will inevitably raise its ugly head. So no matter how GOOD the thing that you are doing is; be it a service for the poor people of this world or proclaiming the Good News of Jesus or taking a moral stand. Like Nehemiah discovered, when you do something for the LORD, the world (influenced by Satan) hates it with a vengeance, and will oppose you. However, they are not really opposing you, they are coming against your God, who’s called you to that task.

But we must bear in mind what it is that’s driving any form of opposition:

Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV) When Opposition Comes: Be strong in the LORD and STAND.
10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11  Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Read the FULL ARMOUR OF GOD Eph 6:14-20).

We must not resort to worldly ways of reacting to opposition:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)
3  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

So how should we react to opposition?

Think and Act Like Nehemiah.

Who was Nehemiah? His name means “the comfort of Jehovah.” His purpose and calling by the LORD really was a worthy one; He was instructed by the LORD to reconstruct the walls of the city of Jerusalem and in the process to rebuild the faith of the people of Israel. Yet, as soon as he began, Nehemiah was confronted by the dreaded opposition. So don’t be surprised by opposition, instead; expect it.

1) PRAYER:

When you get busy for God and the expected opposition comes, the first ingredient that will lead to success is PRAYER. “But we prayed to our God,” the Bible says (Nehemiah 4:9). Prayer was a key ingredient in Nehemiah’s spiritual life (1:4). When OPPOSITION came, Nehemiah looked up to Heaven first taking captive those opponents of God’s word with Spiritual weapons, before he persisted in the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall.

2) PERSISTENCE:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the second ingredient that will lead to success is PERSISTENCE. Prayer is not a substitute for working at what you’ve been called to do. So often people will retreat and just pray, but you’ve been called to more than prayer. Instead, know that PRAYER preceeds PERSISTENCE. When opposition comes don’t just carry on regardless, get down to prayer first and then carry on regardless. PRAYER is a PRELUDE to PERSISTENCE. For the God’s Word says; “Nehemiah took their thoughts captive (He used Spiritual Weapons) Nehemiah 4:4.   “…the people worked with all their heart.” (Nehemiah 4:6).

I don’t know who said it first, but whoever it was, this thought encapsulates the KEY INGREDIENTS when opposition comes; “I pray as if everything depended on God. Then I work as if everything depended on me.” I love that saying, we’ve got to PRAY and WORK at what we’ve been called to do. (See James Faith and Works).

3) POWER:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the third ingredient that will lead to your spiritual success is THE POWER OF HEAVEN. When confronted by the fear of the people, the fear of man, the fear of looking like a fool, the fear of failure; then Nehemiah 4:14 says that Nehemiah arose and spoke to the people about the power of God, and about the purpose of their work. When we are reminded of the purpose to which God has called us, and the power with which to accomplish that purpose, then we will be encouraged to move on toward the completion of our task.

So simply remind yourself of God’s calling and purposes: To share the Gospel, to help the poor, to cure the sick, to make disciples, to follow the teachings of Jesus, to live by them and if need be to die for them. Remember also the POWER of HEAVEN, the Weapons are not worldly, we take our stand against opposition with the Armour of God in place: Ephesians 6:10-20. And bear in mind; Jesus is with you always. Holy Spirit has filled you and equipped you for this work for the LORD.

When you know and experience the POWER you will keep going at what He’s called you to do.

CONCLUSION:

Yes my friends, you will experience all kinds of opposition to what you’ve been called to do by the LORD: Demonic and Worldly OPPOSITION: Expect it, and react like Nehemiah the prophet and the LORD Jesus Christ.

  • Get down to PRAYER,
  • Get up to WORK by being PERSISTENT,
  • Get into the POWER of Heaven.

Through prayer and persistence with the power of Heaven, you will be able to overcome any of those troubling opponents.

As one great preacher has said,

“You’ll be able to turn those stumbling stones into stepping stones”

Also;

… Your troubles can be turned into triumphs.

Also;

“Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest Christian upon his knees.”

Have a blessed Saturday with Jesus.

For most people it’s a rest day, to be with family and friends, but remember Jesus is your BEST BFF (Best Friend Forever).

So make and appointment and keep it with Him first. Then no matter what happens today, you’ll be ready. Amen!

Don.

 

The Christian’s Enemies: The Devil (Satan).

fighting against your enemies, the Devil, Satan, Christian

Daily Spirit & Word 569:

The Christian’s Enemies: The Devil (Satan).

Good morning my friends, we’ve been looking at our three main enemies in the Spiritual life; remember an enemy wants to see you defeated, downhearted and destroyed; most certainly that is true of our arch-enemy Satan. Jesus tells us this about him;

John 10:10  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ”

Satan even had the audacity to try and tempt the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, so don’t be surprised when you are feeling the pressure of ‘spiritual’ oppression. After trying to tempt Jesus in the wilderness and failing, listen to what God’s Word tells us that he did next:

Luke 4:13  “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”

As we all know Satan plays dirty and he’s waiting for just the right moment in your own life too, that opportune moment to come and make his move. He’s the ultimate opportunist. Just as we are commanded by the LORD to make the most of every opportunity, so Satan will be waiting for the right opportunity in your life to come. However, with the Lord’s help, armour and power and presence, we can stay one step ahead of him: To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed.

1) He’ll Strike When You Are Feeling Weak & Fatigued:

When you are drained of energy and very tired from your life’s labours or even illness. That’s when Satan comes along and make the most of his opportunities.

You see sometimes when we’re weak, we begin to question if God really loves us as His child. When we’ve not got enough money, when we’ve run out of food and need to feed the kids, when we’ve got more month at the end of the money, when we’re realy tired and have no energy even to think straight. Satan strikes and will tempt you in all sorts of ways, but ultimately he’s out to destroy you.

It was after 40 days in the wilderness when Jesus was at His weakest moments in life that Satan made the most of that opportunity and tempted Jesus in EVERY way.

When things aren’t going right in your marriage; He’ll provide an opportunity: A way to get out of the relationship, A new prospective mate; a good looking man or woman, who’s ultra nice to you, who’s going to meet your every need and ‘really’ love and appreciate you. NO my friends it’s a TRAP and a FALSE trail. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

Elijah felt the attack even after a great victory over the Prophets of Baal.

2) He’ll Strike When You Are Feeling STRONG and SUCCESSFUL:

Whenever we’re feeling strong there comes a time when we’re also fooled into thinking we’re ‘Spiritually’ impregnable too. God has warned us that we are NOT immune from Satan’s attacks;

1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Even the most morally strong and spiritual person will be a target for Satan’s devices, remember what happened to King David with Bathsheba and King Solomon with the Queen of Sheba. (must be something about that name Sheba)… They were both at the height of their success as Kings in Israel, yet something happens when we’re successful, we begin to think we’re immune from attack or impregnable, but in reality we’re only one step away from a tumble. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to BE Self-Controlled and BE Alert… Watch out my strong friends.

Someone said to me the other day, the Bible is full of mistakes, it most certainly is my friends, but as our text tells us, they were written down as a WARNING and an EXAMPLE of how we must be wary;

1 Corinthians 10:11-12  “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfilment of the ages has come. 12  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”

“Satan hates it when he sees, the weakest Christian upon his knees”

When you are on your knees to the LORD, you’ll be able to STAND against any attacks of the Evil one.

3) He’ll Strike When You Go Against God’s Commands:

There’s a wonderful account in 1 Chronicles 18 when the Kings of Israel and Judah are allied and want to go to war. They ask the Prophets of the Lord and they all tell them to “Go to war and they’ll win the battle”, but just one Prophet tells the Kings something they just don’t want to hear, “Don’t Go To War: If you do you’ll die”… Guess what, they chose to go against this one man and sided with the crowd who were telling them what they wanted to hear.

“THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM”

When you’re fleshly desires get hold of you my friends, you’ll be tempted to go against God’s commandments, you’ll be listening to flattering words or words and advice that will tell you what you are doing is OK, but don’t be fooled, listen to your Conscience.

In that account in 1 Chronicles 18 a lying spirit (Satanic Demon) had entered into all the Prophets who were telling the kings what they wanted to hear, but one Godly Prophet stood out and was prepared to die for God to tell them the truth. (Read 1 Chronicles 18 you’ll be amazed).

KNEEL to the LORD and You Can STAND Against Anything

4) Satan will strike when you least expect it:

So be “EVER-READY” like the battery 🙂 Always charged and prepared.

Twice in Ephesians we’re encouraged to “PUT ON THE FULL ARMOUR OF THE LORD”…

Ephesians 6:11  “Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Ephesians 6:13  “Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

NOTE: When God tells us TWICE to do something, He probably thinks it’s a BRILLIANT idea or an ESSENTIAL thing for us to be doing;

So with that in mind my friends, I’m thinking we’ll try and get prepared, but there are so many avenues of opportunity that Satan will take, it’s best that we’re completely covered in all the ARMOUR that the LORD has provided; then we’ll be standing in His might power.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (The Gospel Armour).

10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11  Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Pray for each other, pray for me too 🙂

  • The Belt Of Truth: 
  • The Breastplate of Righteousness:
  • The Gospel Shoes:
  • The Shield of Faith:
  • The Helmet of Salvation:
  • The Sword of the Spirit:

All of these elements will help you to “BE STRONG IN THE LORD & IN HIS MIGHTY POWER”

Your battle is NOT against flesh and blood:

“BE STRONG IN THE LORD & IN HIS MIGHTY POWER

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

The Christian’s Enemies: The World (Worldly system and authorities in rebellion against God’s commands), the Flesh (inner-self against the Spirit) and the Devil and all his demonic forces in the heavenly realms.

You can do it, when you are walking in the Spirit and wearing the FULL ARMOUR OF GOD in the Battle.

Keep fighting my friends, don’t give up, because God really does LOVE you with an everlasting LOVE.

Don.

 

Believer: The LORD Is Your Protector

Daily Spirit & Word, 458: Believer: The LORD Is Your Protector.

It takes courage, unity and determination to defeat the enemies of the LORD.

Exodus 17:15 “Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”).”

Israel had been attacked by the Amalekites. It’s an amazing incident, for when Moses tired, his hands were supported by others. We need to remember that Moses by now was a very old man, but he was still God’s chosen man to lead the Nation of Israel from Slavery to Freedom in the promised land.

Joshua was the commander of the army of Israel: He was a faithful warrior for the Lord, but this battle plan had a strategy; Joshua would fight and Moses would stand.

 

Exodus 17:8-16

8  While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them.

9  Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”

10  So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill.

11  As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage.

12  Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset.

13  As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.

14  After the victory, the LORD instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”

15  Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”).

16  He said, “They have raised their fist against the LORD’s throne, so now the LORD will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”

To Help Defeat The Enemy:

  • Joshua needed Moses
  • Moses needed Aaron and Hur
  • Israel needed the Lord

When they attacked Israel it wasn’t just Israel’s army they were attacking; He said, “They have raised their fist against the LORD’s throne, so now the LORD will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.” Verse 16.

My friends you, those of you who have been chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ, are members of God’s Holy, Heavenly Family forever, so whenever you are attacked from any source, they are attacking the “Throne of the LORD” Therefore, the LORD will be engaged in the battle with you. That’s why King David had such confidence in the LORD, because he knew that with the Lord no enemy need be feared.

Psalm 60:4 “But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow.”

Psalm 27:1-3 (NIV) [Of David.] “The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? 2  When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.”

As believers we’ve also got the same kind of assurance that Moses, Joshua, Aaron, Hur and King David had; God is with you.

Revelation 17:14  “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” My friends, when you trusted in Jesus Christ and turned in repentance and faith to receive His forgiveness, did you realise that you were; “Called and Chosen?” WOWzer! Sometimes we think our walk with Jesus is all down to us, but He’s the one who called you, you simply responded. He’s the one who chose you. Out of all the people on the earth today, you were called and chosen by the Lord to be a member of His family forever, so He’s going to fight for you when you need His divine help.

Here is the Confidence we can have that Jesus is with us in every single battle that we face as Christians.

Romans 8:28-31 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31  What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

“If God is for us, who can be against us”

Oh WOW! “If God is for us (on our side) who can be against us?”

A NOTE of Caution: Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood (  ) but when we are attacked by other human beings the LORD will watch your back.

Be sure that you never attack one of the Lord’s chosen, anointed, justified and sanctified people, because if you do then He’ll become your most fearsome enemy.

For the Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ:

The Lord will help you in every battle, against every enemy.

My friends, I hope you have an AWESOME week, knowing that you’ve been called by Jesus, chosen by Jesus, justified by Jesus and that you are also protected by Jesus and the LORD’S Army. Fight valiantly dear warriors of Jesus.

Don.

 Bible References: Romans 8:31. Psalm 118:6. Psalm 60:4. Psalm 27:1,3. 2 Chronicles 13:12. Psalm 46:7. Revelation 17:14. Psalm 2:1,4. Isaiah 8:10.

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