If you are truly headed toward Jesus, you will face opposition. There will be things that try to take you off course. There will be things that try to distract you. There will be things that try to stop you. Opposition is not just something that might happen when you follow Christ, it is a guarantee.
Here are four things that will continually try to take us off course. These are not the only four, but these are pretty common.
When it comes to opposition, the easiest thing for the enemy to do is to destroy your desire to go on. In this passage of scripture, the enemy is trying to destroy the faith of the church through the killing of Stephen.
The death of Stephen was about trying to scare the rest of the believers so they would stop talking about Jesus. The enemy has changed his tactics but he is still trying to produce the same effect. He doesn’t usually just kill us anymore. He just wants to destroy your faith. The thing is, when we stand firm in the Lord and what we believe, we get to have a similar experience that Stephen did. We get to see God working in our lives and the lives of those around us. We are going to face opposition, but if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will not be DESTROYED by it.
The next way the emery likes to bring opposition into our lives is by making sure we are detained. Essentially, he likes to try to keep us from being free. He likes to take whatever might cause you to be free and use it as a way to bind you up. But a lot of the time we are really detained. Maybe through legalism. Maybe because of sin. But either way, the biggest lie that you can believe is that you are free without consistently drawing close to Jesus. We are going to face opposition, but if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will not be DETAINED by it.
The enemy knows that we are stronger together. When it comes to dividing us today, it is not about scattering us physically, it is about dividing us spiritually. When it comes to dividing us, the enemy wants you to stay in your head because he can spin things up there that lead you to think things about others that are not actually true. And if he can keep you in your head, he can keep planting seeds of doubt and all kinds of other stuff. This is not about all of us being the same. We are not called to all be the same. We are called to all be together. We are going to face opposition, but if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will not be DIVIDED by it.
Simon the sorcerer was trying to obtain something by duplication rather than by relationship. We as Christians sometimes have the tendency to do the same thing. We want something someone else has but we don’t want to do the work they did to get it.
Whether it is a good marriage.
Or great kids.
Or a strong spiritual walk.
Or a good prayer life.
The enemy makes us think that we should be able to have it. Or that we deserve it. Or that we are entitled to it. That is false. God has something specific for each of us. God wants us to come to Him, each one of us. God wants a personal relationship with each of us. He doesn’t want you to duplicate someone else’s relationship with Him. We are going to face opposition, but if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we will not just try to DUPLICATE someone else’s faith.
You are going to be opposed every minute you decide to draw closer to Christ. That opposition will come in various forms. But there is only one way to truly combat it. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.