PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Opportunities in OppositionMarcus Sanders
Acts 18:9 "And the Lord said to Paul on night in a vision, "Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people."
There are things in life that we try to shake off because it's unwelcomed. Bad air is one of those things that is unwelcomed. In fact we are prompted to move upwind to catch a breath of fresh air. Paul wanted to see the Jews to embrace Jesus as the Messiah and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy. Instead in the midst of the fresh air of the gospel, bad air of opposition was encountered. The air would get so heavy that Paul would need to move up wind to shake it off. God is sovereign over the airs and encouraged Paul not to be silent for I am with you. In other words God wanted Paul to speak regardless if the air was good or bad because nobody will harm you. It's not because you will be immune from the attacks but in the setting of the bad air I have many people in this city that will come to faith. With this boldness Paul stayed in Corinth for one year and six months in the midst of the bad air of opposition, he taught the word of God.
Seasons of ministries come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Within our seasons the culture setting may be like fresh air to breath in teaching and preaching the gospel. Then there are moments where the air gets a little odor of opposition and quickly we want to move upwind out of the situation. I like what Paul is teaching us about seasons like this. Don't move upwind by emotional decisions because the air is bad. Paul uses another word in his vocabulary in his writing, "It the Lord wills." Good decision can only be made if the Lord wills. The gem today is to trust God in all things. He is sovereign. He may ask me to stay in the midst of good and bad air because He is drawing people in the culture and community towards faith in Him. Opportunity for the fruitfulness of the gospel are caught or missed depending on whether we hear Him or not. I like what A.W. Tozer's said in this quote, "The man on the cross is only focusing in one direction. He is not going back. And he has no future plans of his own." "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 ESV)
Father, my prayer is to be a man facing one direction towards the will of God. Jesus I am obedient to your call on my life. Holy Spirit, my comforter and guide, let my life be a torch that shines brightly for the fruitfulness of the Gospel. In Jesus name