forAfriend Blog

The Principle of Resistance

Published 2013-08-08

Obeying God's still small voice requires denial of self, schedule, pleasure, and even reason. It humbles me before a Holy and Good God and can make me out to look like a fool to people who probably wouldn't guess "oh God told him to do that" and if you were to tell them that it might make you sound like a fool in addition to looking like one. The resistance I feel comes from my own flesh for God's direction tends to fly in opposition to my comforts, my schedule, and my idea's of how to be most effect. Once the voice has registered and I've felt the first push of resistance from within I then usually turn to reasoning/complaining with the voice that prompted some good thing. I remind it of my good intent of the plans I've already made, the good works I already do, and the needless difficulty of the task. I turn then to negotiating with the voice about the when, the how, and exactly what it means to obey. I try and finagle in my own plans and negotiate out some of the things that are uncomfortable and seek the easiest way to reach obedient status.


But I don't think it's just me! I think it's a universal principle we can see clearly many time throughout the bible! Moses' arguing with God that he wasn't qualified to do the task God asked of him to do in Exd. 3. Jeremiahs struggle with his commission in Jeremiah 12-15. And Jonahs flight in the opposite direction of the mission field he was called to. Even Jesus had to release his own wants in order to obey his Father in heaven (John 8:26, Luke 22:42, and Hebrews 5:8). And even after Christ's ascension and the Holy Spirit's filling at Pentecost Paul still is caught in the principle of resistance when God say's of him in Acts 26:14 "how hard is it for you to kick against the goads?" Certainly it was God's voice Paul was resisting. And for every hero of the faith who's resisted God at first but then give way to obedience there are truly countless others who have felt the resistance of their flesh against God's word but instead of choosing to surrender continued in their resistance and prevailed to do what they would rather do forsaking the will of God.


Certainly it's no different today. Like sheep we have all gone astray. The shepherds goad is the only thing that could keep us in line with his path. Only the sheep that walk close enough to the shepherd will continually feel the direct contact of the masters goad but quick compliance makes resistance short and free us to walk in peace and humility again. Pushing beyond the guide of the shepherd is difficult and requires much resisting and fighting but once beyond his reach you can follow as loosely and carefree as you wish. Following at a distance lets you remain comfortable and oblivious to the shepherds voice or direction.


Where are you walking? Close enough that you feel consistently the poke of resistance at work as you hear God speak and you resist, submit, and obey, or are you not hearing his voice, not feeling to sting of resistance, and not being challenged to obey beyond your own wants? Are you following Jesus at a distance far enough away that you can stay in control of what you do and where you go, how fast or how slow? They don't believe in doing things that would be uncomfortable, hard, or foolish. They don't believe God would ask them to do anything of the sort. They don't feel resistance because they live by their own thoughts about an idea of God along with a herd of others. Therefore they don't even believe in resistance as a principle for discerning God's voice.




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