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 Encountering Resistance

by Chip Brodgen

"God resists the proud" (James 4:6ff).

The automatic assumption is that anything which resists us or hinders us is of satanic origin. That is, if we encounter difficulty in our spiritual walk, our first reaction is to rebuke the devil, or ask the saints to pray for us to have a clear way.

Certainly the devil will attempt to hinder us from anything we undertake that glorifies God and threatens the darkness. Yet we learn from James 4:6 that there is Someone else who can resist us. There is Another Who carefully watches what we do, and frequently hinders us from making progress.

It comes as a shock and surprise to some Christians to see one day that God, not the devil, is resisting them. The Lord Himself resists us, closes doors, causes things to be unfruitful, and spoils all our plans. How so? Because "God resists the proud."

This resistance from God is insurmountable. It is a fearful thing to fight the Lord. We spend most of our lives wrestling with God instead of cooperating with God, and in the end we have nothing to show for it.

So much time and effort is wasted because we proceed in our own, stubborn way. We attribute all difficulties to the devil, or to other people, or our circumstances, or our environment, and fail to recognize that the Lord Himself is resisting us.

From[url=http://www.theschoolofchrist.org/articles/power.html]The Secret of Spiritual Power[/url]


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Diane

 2006/8/10 11:04Profile
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
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 Re: Encountering Resistance

[b]Resisteth[/b]

Strong's Ref. # 498

Romanized antitassomai
Pronounced an-tee-tas'-som-ahee

from GSN0473 and the middle voice of GSN5021; to range oneself against, i.e. oppose:

KJV--oppose themselves, resist.

From [i]Vincent's Word Studies[/i]

Resisteth (ἀντιτάσσεται)
A strong and graphic word. Lit., setteth himself in array against, [b]as one draws out a host for battle[/b]. Pride calls out God's armies. No wonder, therefore, that it “goeth before destruction.”




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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2006/8/10 15:33Profile
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Joined: 2005/5/2
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 Re: any testimonies?

Here is one of my favorite stories about divine resistance. Notice how hard it was for Baalam to recognize the cause of resistance. Notice how he responded to the resistance. Notice how dificult it was for him to admit his pride?

****
Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.

Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam's foot against it. So he beat her again.

Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?"

Balaam answered the donkey, "You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now."

The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?"

"No," he said.

Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. Num.22:21 ff

*****
There is a lesson here for us all. How many times have we been angry recently? Could we have been encountering divine resistance checking our pride and self-determination? Were we anger because we were made to feel like a fool? Perhaps that was God exposing our pride to us.

I have come to believe that his resistance is a very effective tool, and that he employs it through my everyday circumstances and encounters with others. The challenge for me is to focus on what God is doing in my life, rather than the resistive force (or person). I am thankful for it (later) because it builds my trust in him, and gives me a sense of peace.

“Humble yourselves….” 1 Pet. 5:6

Any testimonies?


Diane


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Diane

 2006/8/11 7:45Profile
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 Re: God reists Uzziah

Uzziah had it coming - God’s resistance, that is. Let’s examine the man:
Uzziah became king of Judah when he was sixteen. For a long time he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. "As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success." 2 Chron. 26:5 As a result, he became very successful and famous.

"But after he became powerful, his pride led to his downfall." He started to take control in the temple by doing what was not his God-given job,. He started to “burn incense to the Lord.” That was the priest’s job.

Eighty courageous priests confronted him, trying to warn him that he had stepped out of bounds, but he would not listen. He blew up in a rage, and as a result, God struck him with leprosy.

He was banished into complete isolation from the people for the rest of his life because he never heeded the warnings, and he refused to admit it. 2 Cor 20
There is a definite modern application in this account. We too take over jobs in God’s courts which we were never ordained to do. That is especially true of we evangelicals who are zealous to bring people into God’s kingdom. You wonder, “Isn’t that our calling?”

Yet consider these words: "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow."1 Cor. 3:7 Clearly we have various roles in the kingdom work, but clearly, we are NOT the ones who make life or cause it to grow.

Yet we try to produce instant plants from dry hard soil that has few seeds in it. We try to turn people into instant converts or instant mature people. We manipulate; we employ gimmicks and formulas; we exert pressure; we lay guilt trips; we accuse; or we charm. We are like Uzziah – taking control of the temple. (Today people are the temple).

All the while we fail to plant seeds, or water, or break the fallow ground. We teach very little of God’s word – other than our favorite formula verses. We fail to understand the need for softening the soil, and so we fail to aid in that process. We fail to water the soil with the “cup of water” that Christ calls us to give. We fail to let people have the needed time to think and process new truth. We fail to give space for God to do the convicting work in their hearts. So we make a lot of false converts, or we allienate many from the church. Essentially we have trampled in the inner sanctuary – where we are not supposed to be.

So, of course we encounter resistance – justifiably.

Perhaps we may be lucky like Uzziah was, and have wise people confront us. But if we ignore the quiet voices and continue to trample the inner courts of our fellow human beings, we can be sure that we will encounter stronger resistance – divinely ordained.

I think much of the upheaval and demise of evangelical Christendom is the direct result of God’s hand coming against us. It is not the devil doing it at all. In fact, if we think the devil, or the world, or an enemy is coming against us, we will stiffen up and “fight back”. That’s what Baalam did to his donkey.

Let us become sensitive to divine resistance, and humble ourselves before God. In fact if we fail to do so, like Uzziah, we will be banished, sent into isolation, and we will discover ourselves enduring the shame and humility of a dreaded social “disease”. People will forget about us, avoid us, or make fun of us in the news… etc.

That sounds harsh, but really, for the sake of God's Kingdom, it’s better that we are put out of the way - if we refuse to humble ourselves.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord
and he will lift you up.” James 4:10

“He gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Diane



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Diane

 2006/8/12 10:14Profile





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