Does anyone remember the movie Rudy about the small-in-stature young man who had the heart of a lion? In one scene he was running top speed towards his opponent and constantly getting knocked down. He'd pop up and go at it again, only to get knocked back down. After painfully watching him do this several times I must admit that I began to question his sanity. I mean, who does that? Who voluntarily places themselves in a situation that guarantees swift opposition and fierce battles? And it was then that I heard that still, small voice say, "Those who choose to sincerely follow Me."
Choosing to sincerely follow GOD is both glorious and painful. It's beautiful and sweet because you experience extraordinary encounters with GOD. He reveals Himself to you in jaw-dropping ways. You get the immense pleasure of being in His glorious presence and become more sensitive to His voice, thus receiving heavenly guidance and revelation. But you will also encounter fierce and wicked opposition in an effort to get you to retreat. It's important to realize and accept that you will make countless mistakes and you will fall time and time again. Interestingly enough, falling is part of spiritual growth as you come to realize your dire need for GOD's grace. If you didn't fall you wouldn't need the Holy Spirit. If you didn't fall you would be sinless like Jesus. You may fall a hundred times a day but it's important to remember that a hundred times a day you are forgiven (1 John 1:9).
As I've gotten older I realize that when I fall I don't just pop up like I did when I was younger. I mean I sit for a good minute, but I know that I have to get up. With some trials we are able to pop up and quickly move forward but some take the very air out of our chests and we need to sit and be ministered to by GOD for a while; to remind us that we are forgiven, to soothe our sorrows and to regain strength to get back up to fight. There's a constant, vicious battle for our peace, joy, heart and relationship with GOD. And this battle is not for the faint of heart (1 Corinthians 9:26, 2 Timothy 2:3-5). But 'greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world' (1 John 4:4); we do not fight alone. In fact, you can't fight this battle alone. Because this battle is not against flesh and blood but occurs in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 6:12). When you became a Christian you signed up to be a warrior. And GOD in all of His glory has provided everything you need to be successful conquerors (Romans 8:37). The weapons of our warfare are prayer, fasting, praise, the Word of GOD, spending time in His presence and suiting up with the armor of GOD (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Ephesians 6:11-12). This is how we, as followers of Christ plant our feet and stand our ground.
The Bible says that we are to consider the cost of following Jesus (Luke 14:25-35). We are no longer our own but have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23). Many will fall away and retreat to that which is easy, comfortable and simple; choosing to walk the road of least resistance and satisfying the desires of the flesh (Luke 9:62). If this has happened to you my friend, it's not too late to dust yourself off and suit back up. I know it's hard. I do. Just don't stay down. Get alone with GOD and tell Him how much it hurts. Ask Him to strengthen and forgive you. He will honor your heartfelt prayer. I know He will.
So, my friend what opposition are you facing that's tempting you to retreat? Is it discouragement, depression or fear? Could it be an unanswered prayer or deep disappointment? Perhaps it's weariness of carrying heavy financial, emotional or family burdens? Or possibly difficulty with a child, spouse or boss? The Bible says that many are the afflictions of the righteous but the LORD delivers us from them all (Psalm 34:19). Not just some of them but All. Whatever opposition or trial you are facing know that it is no competition for your Heavenly Father. He is stronger, wiser and more powerful than any circumstances thrown your way.
Stand your ground, my friend. Plant your feet solidly on the infallible Word of GOD and refuse to let opposition knock you off your post. Use your faith to speak to that mountain and tell it to move (Mark 11:23). Go before the LORD and ask Him for guidance on how to proceed (Jeremiah 33:3). Anything the enemy throws at you can and will be handled by the Spirit of GOD and not by your power or might (Zechariah 4:6). Put on your armor (Ephesians 6:11-18) and take up your cross (Luke 9:23). Come on my friend you can do this. I promise. Our GOD is omniscient and omnipotent. Nothing can occur without it getting through Him first. GOD may not have sent this trial, setback or opposition but He promises that if you trust Him it will be used to work out for your good (Romans 8:28).
You see Rudy stood his ground even when his opponent appeared huge, overbearing and impossible and as a result he has become a part of football history. And with our determination to stand our ground against strong opposition, we too will be rewarded. We will be rewarded with intimacy with GOD, our name written in the Lamb's book of Life (Revelation 3:5) and the sweetness of hearing the LORD our GOD say, "Well done. My good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21,23 Luke 19:17).
I truly pray that this message blesses you. I see you planting your feet and standing your ground against opposition with a boldness like that of a Lion. I am ever so excited for you because it's this very fortitude that is bringing you closer to GOD and into the fullness of His purpose.
© 2014 Tanny Garcia