One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl. She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters.
She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved."
This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And instantly it left her.
Her masters' hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace.
"The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!" they shouted to the city officials.
"They are teaching customs that are illegal for us Romans to practice."
A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. (Acts 16:16-22)
Now we have come to pericope of the encounter with the demon possessed slave girl. Do you notice how each time there is an advancement for the cause of taking this message of the Good News about Jesus to ends of the world that the opposition comes? It is as regular as clockwork. It is not just in Luke’s story of Paul and Silas. It happens to anyone who dares to step out and share the story of Jesus. Notice the opposition comes from two sources – the devil and the humans who are connected to the action. That is always the case. Just as there are those who commit themselves to further the cause of Christ so too there are those who are vehemently opposed to the cause of Christ. The number of times over the past fortnight that I have come across people who are facing opposition has led me to ask some of them if they have stepped out and done something for Jesus (I ask if it is not already apparent to me). It is always the case.
I had a brochure designed while I was Director of Wycliffe NZ - Six Reasons Why We Love Bible Translation.
1. It is a very effective means of discipleship.
2. An indigenous church is usually established as a result.
3. It produces a people of the book.
4. It does wonders for the missionary translator.
5. It is a well defined and objective task.
6. It attracts intense opposition
It’s that sixth reason that tells me that Bible Translation gets under the devil’s skin and so that only makes me want to be more involved. I have found anything that I have designed: God Awesome Book, Digging for Hidden Treasure, Deeper Bible, and especially the Effective Prayer Seminar attracts opposition. Friday night our church here in New Zealand ran a Prayer Burn – 12 hours of non-stop prayer. At the end of the 12 hour Prayer Burn, my mate Kevin stood up and warned the young people to be careful. Whenever you step out and take God at His Word, the opposition will come. I was planning to attend but was waylaid by an impromptu meeting I had to go to, related to opposition of a different nature. It appears to be a principle of life on this planet. “In this world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jesus
Now begin to look at this new pericope with that thought in mind. Pick it apart, ask your questions, pay attention to the details and lift up your eyes and look at the big picture. If you are in a spiritual battle at the moment look to Him, Your redemption draws near. The only problem is that God’s timing is not necessarily ours.
Everything in life is a lesson. Refusing to learn the lesson means that it will be repeated until the lesson is learned! Rick Godwin
When you step out and do something for Jesus, opposition will come as sure as sparks fly upward.
The really sad thing is that opposition comes from the source we likely expect it, from within the Body of Christ.
Stay true to Christ in the face of opposition. It may well mean the beginning of your victory. Ian
In this world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Jesus
Never give up. Never give up. Never ever, ever give up! Winston Churchill