There are many different kinds of opposition. But there are two categories that they fall into. That would be the real ones and those that are in our imagination. The ones in our imagination are real to us. Perceived. Under the surface. People talking about or pursuing us. This really is the place where our biggest enemy, Satan, comes after us. It is the biggest because it often can’t be proven and often eludes us for a long time.
Turn to the real ones, and there are all kinds of opposition. Some people will fight you to your face while others will only oppose you behind your back. Some people write letters or emails and will not sign their name to what they have said that is tearing you or the situation apart. But opposition is real. Each of us has dealt with it, and the best place to deal with opposition is before it comes up.
Let me take a crack at from another direction. The best place to plan how you deal with opposition is to plan before it begins. How will you deal with the people who rub you the wrong the way? How will you deal with the situations that go against your plans and even against your heart’s desires? They are hard questions to answer, but God has a word for us. Let’s take it from where God speaks to Joshua as he begins to lead.
After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. 3 I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— 4 from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ 5 No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. 6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Because of what God said Joshua was convinced that He was doing what God called Him to do. He was to lead God’s people in to a new day. He was to deal with war, but often the war or the battle was on different terms than they were used to. God made Himself real to Moses, and now God is making himself real to Joshua.
We must be convinced of God’s call on our lives.
That confidence brings us to a place where it is much easier to stand strong and tall. It gives us an outlook on life and on situations around us that helps us see who God is, where our place and how those around us fit in.
Being convinced leads us to being bold and courageous.
Bold and courageous people are often opposed. We will be called arrogant and find that there are lots of questions and lots of obstacles. It is easier to deal with the obstacles when we know that God has a plan and is working His plan through us. Knowing that God is for us makes a huge difference.
I have been opposed many times through my life. Sometimes the opposition came about because of my issues or weaknesses, yet most of the opposition came about because I was doing what God called me to do and was where God told me to be. There is the problem. Knowing the difference is the hard part.
1 John 3:13 NASB
Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.
The world might not write you a letter or even stand in front of you and say it hates you. But the actions people take will say it for them. I have been there, and I understand that the battle belongs to God. My role is to be strong and courageous. My choice has to be not to turn away when dealing with opposition. God will carry us through, and the glory will belong totally to Him.
I pray that you and I will be sold out to doing what God says to do no matter what comes up. Start today. Make a plan. Dealing with opposition begins before it raises its ugly head. Dealing with opposition isn’t easy or fun, but on the other side of the opposition God is about to do some awesome things. Let’s move forward. Are you with me?