Does it ever seem like the cards are stacked against you and opposition comes from every angle? You aren’t alone and there is a battle plan for times like this.
Maybe things at work seem a little difficult and home isn’t currently the solace that you hoped it would be. Possibly you’re dealing with a difficult or broken relationship or health and financial struggles. It could be that on top of it all, you’re feeling distance between you and God that is heavy on your heart.
There are just some seasons that are harder to bear than others because it seems like the difficulties that we face are surrounding us on every side.
I get it. I’ve been there, too.
I’m in a season where there seems like there is a lot to overcome. There isn’t one thing or another that is particularly difficult, but I do seem to be facing challenges at every turn.
Yesterday, a friend said to me, “I never seem to be able to do things the easy way.”
I feel you, Sister! Me either!
Trial and error seem to be my preferred method these days, but God is teaching me so many lessons as I just keep pushing forward. Even this morning as I sat and read Acts 4, He laid out a battle plan before me to deal with times like this.
Today, he taught me to get together with my people to pray, to get in the word, to get with the plan, to get my emotions in check, and to get filled up so that I can get going.
So, whether it’s all the minor little things (like the alarm not going off, taking the kids to school an hour late, running behind in ALL THE THINGS all day, and then throwing yourself a bit of a pity party like I did last week) or something major, the Bible gives us hope and a plan to respond to the opposition we face.
5 Part Plan for Overcoming Opposition from Acts 4:23-31
- 1. Get with your people to pray. Acts 4:23-24 “On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God…”
Peter and John had just been thrown in jail for healing a lame man in the name of Jesus and had to face the same men who crucified Jesus. I’d say that was some pretty big opposition.
When they got out of jail, their first action was to gather together with their people to pray. Maybe you don’t have a big support system of other believers in your life like Peter and John did, but maybe there are some people within your church, a dear friend, a family member, or a mentor who would be willing to come along side of you and pray with you when you face opposition.
There is such power in having people who will rally with us in hard times and remind us to take our burdens to Jesus.
- 2. Get in the word. Acts 4:25-26 “You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one.”
Peter and John went straight to the word of God. (This passage is an excerpt from the Old Testament.) They knew the best place for them to be in their most difficult times was right smack in God’s word.
Grab your Bible when opposition comes your way. Ephesians 6:17 calls the Word of God the Sword of the Spirit. Wield it like a weapon to battle discouragement, fear, doubt, and anxiety. Use your Bible to seek God and draw closer to Him.
The Bible isn’t a Magic Eight Ball that will give your every answer, (I love that analogy from Jen Wilkin’s book Women of the Word) but as we read God’s word, we learn about who He is, what He’s done, what He promises, and how faithful He is. That knowledge helps us in our response to anything that we struggle against.
- 3. Get with the plan. Acts 4:28 “They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”
Peter and John knew that God was at work and had a plan for their situation. This one can be tricky because I tend to really like my own plans and stubbornly fight for my own way, even though I know God works all things together for good. (Romans 8:28). I’d much prefer we just avoid the opposition all together, but I also know that even in the most desperate situations, God has a plan to bring light from darkness. (John 11:14-15)
Our best course of action, then, is to willingly submit to God’s plan and know that He will work it out for good, even if it isn’t going the way we had planned.
- 4. Get your emotions in check. Acts 4:29 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.”
Peter and John had to be afraid, overwhelmed, anxious, and reeling from a whole slew of other emotions. However, instead of letting their feelings control them, they asked God to replace their feelings with boldness.
Oh man. This one hits close to home for me. How about you?
I am an emotional person and I have BIG feelings about everything. If you’re like me, we’ve got to be extra careful not to let those big emotions rule our actions. Instead, we have to give them to God and ask Him to replace our emotions with a boldness to turn to Him, hear Him, learn from Him, submit to Him, and let Him lead us instead us instead of being led by our feelings.
- 5. Get filled up and get going. Acts 4:30-31 “Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
Peter and John didn’t stop what they were doing even when opposition seemed to come from every side, and neither should you or I. We are called to get filled up and get going.
We can trust that God will empower us to boldly face the things that stand in our way. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead now fills us. The Holy Spirit indwells us. (Romans 6:10-11) There is supernatural power working in our lives and in the situations we face. We don’t have to live a life defeated by the oppositions that surround us.
There is hope and a battle plan for us!
Anyone else pumping their first to the sound of the Rocky soundtrack playing in their mind as they imagine themselves boldly facing and overcoming their opposition after reading this?
No? Just me?
When I came upon this 5 Part Battle Plan for overcoming opposition, I felt so hopeful and so empowered! I hope it sparks that same feeling in you! As you carry out this plan, I hope that spark is fanned into a flame that fuels you to keep on keeping on in spite of anything that comes before you.
Opposition will probably keep coming, but we aren’t defenseless against it. We have a battle plan!
Love and blessings,