Opposition will come. And it comes in various ways and through various people, maybe the same people that you live with or maybe the people that you work with, or perhaps a complete stranger. Opposition can manifest in your life through other people’s opinions of you, your ideas or character that are different than yours. Perhaps those people intentionally know what they’re doing to try to demean you or discourage you, or maybe they’re unaware, ignorant of their ill expression of their opinions toward you. Either way, opposition will show up in your life.
There are so many negative ways to handle opposition, and I have to work through those ways in my head and heart by eliminating them one at a time, regardless of how appealing they seem and the strong degree in which I want to respond with. After that process, I have to choose to take a deliberate stand of authority over my flesh and feelings and that includes the hurts. When the fog of betrayal, hurt and injured pride lifts, you can then begin to see the good ways that you can respond to the opposition.
This vantage point will allow you to see that opposition can actually fortify you, your ideas and your character. In order for it to accomplish this important growth in your life, you must take the road of humility, that’s when you take your attention off of the person that has brought the opposition and put it on you. You begin to objectively listen to what was said or encountered and weight it against yourself. If there is any truth in what was said or experienced, you admit the weaknesses to God and ask for His rescue or input. If there’s no truth and the opposition was the person's own manifestation of their short comings or insecurities, you carry on and release the person from the offense.
What comes out of this process of looking at you, is reassurance. Reassurance of you, your ideas and your character. That God is the source of all things great in your life and because of Him, you can have confidence that He’s with you and He’s got you.
Isn't it great that the enemy of opposition can be used for good in you? Romans 8:28. It’s going to be okay, okay being the minimum, and on those heavy days of opposition and you can’t see the rainbow, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a rainbow.
Hello battle, you show up in different styles and with various deliveries. Your timing is unexpected and your length is undetermined. There are times I’m not even aware that you’re present until I pay attention. Then there are times that I know you’re about to visit me before I see any evidence of you.
It is my declaration that you are not greater than the God that loves me and lives in me. My God is able to keep me, protect me, nurture me and promote me through every trial, inconvenience, pain and disappointment that you bring. Through every battle that rages against me, my eyes are on God...NOT YOU! Oh, I know there are weak moments that I offer you more of my allegiance than My God, but then I come to myself because of the Word of God that's in me.
Dear battle, there’s purpose in the process of pain that you are not privy of. So, I will keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of my faith. You are temporary, you are circumstantial, and you are not worthy of my focus. For what shall separate me from the love of my Father? Nothing! (Romans 8:38-39)
See battle, not even you can separate me from the protective and provisional love of my Father. Though your feeble attempts appear to be strong evidence at times to doubt my God’s ability and love, I shall stand on the foundation of faith in my God.
Dear battle, know these promises: Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you."
Psalm 27:1 “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?”
I shall always combat you with the truth of the Word of God. I will continue to believe that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.(1 John 4:4)
Parenting is not an easy gig and it doesn’t come with a one size fits all manual. Each child is a unique gift from God and while there may be similarities in personality, behaviors and looks, each child is wired uniquely. Ah, the joy of parenting.
We can bless or curse our children with our words. I think that is the biggest responsibility, and perhaps, the most seriousness of parental roles and responsibilities that we have. The words of our mouth can confirm confidence and a future, or they can do the opposite. Yikes!
At times, without intention, we can make a child feel like what they do is more important than who they are. We reward good choices, behaviors and grades. All great and necessary things, but what happens when a child digresses and their choices, behaviors and grades tank? Do we end the rewards? Do we begin to penalize them because we know they have potential they’re not using? Do we stop the compliments and “atta-boys” because we’re disappointed in the way they’re heading? These are sobering and yet, very realistic things that we do. But what is it saying to the child? Are we reinforcing the hopelessness that perhaps they are already battling? Maybe?
Perhaps a more influential way to respond to them is to always intentionally establish purpose in who they are by confirming their identity. When we continually strive to do that, we release them to take on more responsibility and confidently be better because I think at the heart of every child, regardless of their age, is the struggle of finding their identity and their worth. They are challenged by their peers to prove themselves, and often challenged by us to do the same thing. Although, we have different tactics than their peers.
Why wouldn’t you bless your child with your words? It’s a rhetorical question, but I bet emotions are at the top of the reason pile. Past the reason pile, is the truth that we need to separate identity and behavior. Remember, our words can give them permission to prosper in life, which doesn’t mean we are condoning bad, rebellion or disobedience. We are simply and consistently confirming their identity and blessing who they are, a child of God created with infinite value, dignity and worth-not for what they do.
"Father God, may you give us the wisdom, insight and strategy for each of our children. May the words of our mouth be words of life over them. In Jesus Name, Amen."
Who rules your world?
Sounds almost like a tongue in cheek question, but the raw truth behind the answer says a lot about who you are. In church, as a Christian, we know the answer almost instinctively, "Jesus rules my world."
The definition of rule includes governing authority or customary response or behavior. By this definition, does Jesus rule your world? Does Jesus rule my world? I know I desire Jesus to rule my world, but often my ways dictates my behavior and responses. Sad face.
So I'm convinced that my way has to take a back seat to God's way and God's Word. It's easier to type that than to live it, but I will encourage you, and me that this is possible with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. His indwelling presence in our life propels us to eagerly allow God space and time to work out His plan in our life.
Today is a great day to decrease, that God will increase (John 3:30). Wisdom says that whoever rules your world you give first and most priority to. Will you join me in decreasing that God will increase? After all, it's all about Him, it only involves us.
A life that is ruled by Jesus is a life of abundance. A life that is filled with hope and love and faith. We're all a work in progress, but admitting where you are and owning it only to give it to Jesus is the best place to be.
Here's to the rule of Jesus in your life, and mine.
God loves you and has an awesome plan for your life!
God wants to be discovered by you.
When you look to God, you will find Him.
Psalm 34:8 reads: "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. That means we need to participate by being involved, gaining first hand knowledge of who He is and what He is like. Build a testimony of God by having experiences with God.
1 Peter 1:20 reads: "For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you." Know God and make God known.
Galatians 1:12 reads: "For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ." Discover God for yourself.
It doesn't benefit God to remain hidden from you or to be minimally known by you.
God is not playing a game of Hide and Go Seek with you. He is inviting you to a life of Follow the Leader.
Ever feel like you’re totally missing it? Does it ever appear that you're the only one who isn't getting it? The one that seems to have a target on your back and your efforts are going unnoticed? That's where God's grace comes in to fill in those cracks. God never expected us to live perfectly, just "grace-fully."
We need God's grace to fill in where we're inadequate. Your inadequacies are only opportunities to rely on Him more and you less. Embrace His grace today!
2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
There's value in realizing our weak spots that keep us on our knees before the throne of God with humble cries for the wisdom only God can give us. Chances are, you haven't failed. You're simply in a process of getting from your strength to God's strength.
May you realize and accept—you are not perfect, and that's a beautiful thing. The cracks you see and feel allow the light of God's grace to shine through until a beautiful refection of Jesus is seen!
You are a reflection of God's great Grace.
May His grace shine through you in abundance as you celebrate the beauty of "grace-fully" living!