This past weekend I finished up a two-week series called The Resistance. It was all about the dark side of the Christian life that we have to contend with – the world, the flesh, and the devil.
I covered pretty much everything I wanted to, but there was a particular strategy of the devil that I didn’t have time to get to that I think all Christians really need to be aware of. So I thought I’d post it here as a bonus teaching.
Although we’ve got to be aware of Satan’s schemes (2 Cor. 2:11), some Christians are obsessed with them to the point where it’s counterproductive. They blame everything on the devil and give him far too much credit and power. Don’t ever become so focused on the enemy that’s against you that you forget about the God who’s for you.
Still, our enemy is smart. And there’s one strategy I’ve seen him use in the lives of countless Christians to hold them back from God’s purposes for them and dislocate their potential:
Not only does he offer resistance, he convinces you that the resistance itself is a sign that you’re not in God’s will.
Your job is tough and demanding. It’s a challenge for your faith. So it must mean you’re not supposed to be there. It must be time to quit.
Marriage has to be easier than this. You must have married the wrong person. So divorce is now acceptable.
You planted a church and it’s not growing at the rate you thought it would. You must have misheard God. Time to go to plan B.
I think we need to alter our framework. Resistance isn’t a sign that you’re out of God’s will. It might actually be a sign that you’ve never been more in it. That the devil is fighting you so hard because you’re so close to what God wants.
Don’t use The Resistance as an excuse to quit. Use it as motivation to push through.
It’s not: “I’m facing a lot of resistance. I guess it isn’t meant to be. I quit.”
But: “I’m facing a lot of resistance. I guess this is really meant to be. I can’t quit”
Now I’m not saying that just because something is hard that it means it’s the will of God. Sometimes it’s absolutely wise to abandon something because it’s just not worth the effort.
Nevertheless, I think we wrongly assume that if God is in something, it has to be easy. That God’s will and plan for you is marked by the path of least resistance. Tell that to Joseph, Moses, David, Nehemiah, Paul, and Jesus.
If you’re encountering resistance right now, don’t back down or sell out. And don’t blame the Resistance for resisting you. Acknowledge it for what it is. Take it as a sign that you’re heading in the right direction because the devil is running at you and not in the same direction as you.
And then push through to what God has for you.