There is a very real danger of allowing opposition to overshadow and weaken our ability to proclaim Christ. In Acts 14:2-4, “unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.” From my own experience, I know how easy it is to become occupied with the opposition rather than focusing on our calling. To be distracted by opposers is fruitless and a waste of time and energy. Paul and Barnabas “remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord”. As long as the door has not been shut, we must continue to allow the Holy Spirit to use us, as He did them, even in the place of opposition.
That God was working is evident by the Lord bearing “witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders…by their hands”. Look for God to confirm His work through us. It is critical that we not give up during difficult times to the fear of man. We must watch all the time to see if God is working. If He is, then His presence and power will also be there. As we will see in the next blog, there are indicators that it is time to leave a situation. But at Iconium, some of the people were receiving the message because God was at work in their hearts. It was not time to leave.
Never let opposition determine the direction of your ministry. It could be the very tool God uses to embolden and expand the message of the gospel and establish His truth in souls for His glory. So many leave churches today because there is disunity or opposition to the clear presentation of biblical principles from Scripture. Make sure that such decisions are not made because of personal comfort, opposing personalities or grievances. Seek always the “unity of the Spirit” and ways to “speak the truth in love” with the objective that the body of Christ “grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:15).
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