Opposition could be considered part of a packaged deal when committing to kingdom building for God. Knowing this up front can help prepare for the challenges you will face in your assignment.
Unfortunately, many leaders are unaware of this truth; they take on building projects like assembling a doll house using “easy to read” instructions and having numbered pieces to ensure accurate assembly. But even with simple instructions, some tasks are more difficult without essential tools for proper assembly, thus delaying progress and completion of the task.
Whether building a church or organizing a ministry, God provides instructions in accordance with His written word. Actually, all you have to depend upon is His word. And each assignment requires a leap of faith. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him and be satisfactory to Him (Hebrews 11:6, AMP).
One of the greatest biblical examples of overcoming opposition is Nehemiah (Chapter 4). He was a man committed to fulfilling the purpose of God. He resigned without reservation his trusted and prestigious position of cupbearer and advisor to the king of Persia. His luxurious lifestyle in the king’s palace did not outweigh his burden and love for God’s people and his homeland when he heard about conditions back home. Grief compelled him to take action; position himself in prayer and trust God. Finally, God answered his request and granted favor with the king, and Nehemiah seized the opportunity. It’s uncertain if he knew opposition would come. Nevertheless he didn't back down from the challenge, it made him more determined.
Nehemiah’s responsibility of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem summoned opposition after hearing of his assignment.
We can learn three things from Nehemiah that are essential today in dealing with opposition: Commitment, courage, and character.
Like Nehemiah, personal commitment as a servant of God is absolutely essential if you’re going to do anything in the Kingdom. Lack of commitment is one of the greatest hindrances to productivity in the local church. Usually it’s because most people don’t want to deal with the challenges and obstacles that comes with taking on a responsibility.
Nehemiah was a man of courage. As a matter of fact, he had to be courageous as the cupbearer. You could say his position as the king’s cupbearer groomed him for dealing with opposition. He was not afraid of a challenge since he faced the possibility of death on a regular basis. It’s obvious that he was a man of faith. He was a praying man and trusted in the sovereignty of God Almighty. Thirdly, Nehemiah was a man of character. His character was consistent with his reverential worship of God. It fortified him so that he had the audacity to stand in the face of opponents and complete the work assigned to him. He was not distracted nor was he fearful. Nehemiah stayed focused on the task and empowered the people by demonstrating and equipping them to deal with opposition. Be prepared to fight to finish your assignment! Warfare is common in the Kingdom (the Kingdom suffers violence and the violent take it by force!) My God! I felt that word hit somebody’s spirit! Hallelujah! Glory!
Like Nehemiah, God has appointed leaders to carry out His plans and purposes in the world today.
Unfortunately, many are discouraged by overwhelming challenges and distracted by opposition, and even discouraged by the negativity of naysayers. However, the good news is this: if God appointed you and gave you the assignment, He also anointed you to overcome the opposition.
Therefore, opposition can empower you to stay on course and complete your assignment. The level of your commitment, the depth of your courage, and the truthfulness of your character are revealed through your ability to handle the opposition. Opposition comes in several facets; sometimes subtle and sometimes like blazing spears of ridicule, mockery, lies, rumors, slander, financial distress, controlling and compromising spirits, false prophecies and unhealthy relationships just to name a few.
In essence, to be anointed to deal with opposition means the enemy’s attempt to hinder the work of God can motivate you to finish the work of God. Consequently, God receives the glory in your life, in His Church and even in the world through His anointed who overcomes opposition just as Nehemiah; and ultimately His Son Jesus the Christ, Who overcame the world for us.
Remember what Jesus said in John 16:33? “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” Jesus never said it would easy to do the “greater works” you just need to believe…
I can’t begin to tell you how many times this scripture has empowered me to deal with and to overcome the opposition, trials and tribulations I faced over the years.
If you’re facing opposition, be encouraged. If God gave you the assignment, He has anointed you to handle the opposition. Stay committed, be of good courage; be strong in the Lord and the power of His might; let the opposition work to your advantage—shape your character so that you’ll look and act more like Christ. And when the assignment is completed God gets the glory! After all, it’s not about us…
(c)2009 Queen Phillips, Majestic Publications/Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc.