When God has worked in you and through you, there are parts of the “old man” you may still struggle with, but God’s Word always proves true for those who submit to His way and follow His plans that, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) Everyone who walks with the Lord will experience the ups and downs of the life of faith because of the fallen condition of the world. Even Jesus wasn’t subjected to rejection, mockery and scorn because He spoke the truth that very few people wanted to hear.
You are an integral part of the Kingdom of God and there is something unique He has put inside of you to plunder hell and populate heaven with His own people, but once you begin to step out in faith and operate in the calling God has given you- expect resistance on every level! You’ll experience push back from inside yourself, outside yourself and all around you as the enemy works to tear down what God is trying to build in you and through you! When Jesus started His own ministry, He had traveled all around and “His make went throughout the surrounding region” and He was “glorified by everyone.” (Luke 4:14-15) But when He returned home to share the same message? He was dismissed as “Joseph’s son” and His message was rejected. To top it off? The people who “knew Him when” wanted Jesus to prove that God had, indeed, qualified Him. They wanted Him to validate Himself or else they wouldn’t believe.
If you always look to other people to validate, qualify or define you, you’ll never know who you really are in Christ.
“Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your own country,” they said. (Luke 4:23) They wanted Jesus to show them the reason why they should believe. They wanted Jesus to do the things that had made Him “famous” everywhere else, but here’s the thing: That’s what He did! He came and did the same thing He had done everywhere else, but it wasn’t good enough. Why? Because for some people, nothing will be good enough! You can do everything right and never please some people. To some, you may always be just “Joseph’s son”. But Jesus? Jesus didn’t take the bait. Not because He was the Son of God, but because He knew that only God’s opinion really meant anything and He had to allow that be enough. If you always look to other people to validate, qualify or define you, you’ll never know who you really are in Christ. Was it easy for Jesus to walk away from those He’s grown up with? Was it easy to hear their criticism? Always reminding Him that He was nothing special because they’d seen Him all of His life? Of course not! But when you choose to follow God’s calling, there may be times you’ll have to walk away from those who drag you back and, for a time, walk alone, as Jesus did.
Thought for today
Remember that, “Faithful is He who calls you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24) God has placed His call on your life, but there will always be naysayers and people who don’t believe you’ve really changed, those who want to see you fail and those who want to remind you of who you once were. But Jesus? “He went His way.” (Luke 4:30) He stuck to the message. He offered no proof, no excuses, no validations. God had called Him and He wasn’t going prove anything to anyone. Some people will never believe and some will! Jesus Christ forever changed all of the world, but He had to face plenty of adversity. In fact, it infuriated the people from His town so much that they wanted to toss Him over a cliff! (Luke 4:28-29) Keep in mind if pushback from your friends and family is what it takes for you to give up, Satan will make sure it keeps happening!
Here’s your word: “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked…” (Proverbs 4:25-27 NLT)