Romans 12:1-4 (NLT)
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
During rainy days, the water in neighborhoods is carried out by a series of ditches and culverts that line the roadway keeping suburban areas from flooding. They are a useful resource in the community but become dangerous when water begins to rush along rapidly carried by momentum and force. Children are drawn to the water and exhilarated by the flow so they attempt to play in it. Many kids are injured each year because they have underestimated the water force and are swept away in the current. Walking along the sideway after a heavy rain, the water flowing down the trench seemed inviting to me although long past playing in the rain and walking in puddles, there was still a slight inclination to kick off my shoes and step in. The water looked like a small stream flowing along. As I continued to walk along, I thought about Romans 12 and the call on the Body of Jesus Christ to go against the flow. We are to be living and holy sacrifices. The kind that God finds acceptable. It would be the only reasonable thing to do in allegiance to the One who loves us the most. God is transforming us into the new person that He promised. I want to be that person who is pleasing to the Lord. It is my privilege. He has even given me a measure of faith to get started. I have been given distinct instructions for immediate success and a directive not to behave like this world. So why is there no power in the church today? Why is the influence of the world overtaking His Temple? Where is the resistance in the Body of Christ? Resistance creates strength and power. It is to oppose, strive against or withstand darkness, sin and the enemy. We are the resistance. We are the ones who are called to oppose the enemy and walk in victory! It is high time that we do!
Numbers 22:31-33 (NLT)
Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him. “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the LORD demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.”
In order to properly resist and be strengthened as the new person that the Lord has created us to be, it is important to resist the right thing. We must know the premise of the stand that we are taking and believe in the cause of Jesus Christ. If you do not believe in the Power of God demonstrated by Jesus Christ on the Cross and its Power to save, then you have nothing to base your life upon. There are many so-called Christians walking around who believe they are saved and will step from this life into Eternity who are dead wrong. Calling on the Name of Jesus Christ to be saved, but not having faith enough to believe it will never work out. When you Call on the Name of Jesus Christ and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior, by faith you repent and turn from your way to follow Him. It requires a change. Our flesh is in constant opposition with this change because it comes at the sacrifice of self. So our mind, will and emotions are constantly opposing anything that is uncomfortable or compromising to our pride and self-control. As Balaam obeyed the Lord’s Instructions to go with the men, at some point he stopped following God and began to follow the men. When his donkey saw the angel of the Lord, Balaam did not. Three times he mercilessly beat the animal for stopping until his eyes were open too seeing the death angel before him. In stubbornness, we constantly resist the way of the Lord. We want to be residents of this world and Heaven, too. It is impossible. We must show our allegiance to the Name of Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 13:14-15) Jesus is the Only Way to reestablish righteousness with God. (John 14:6) You cannot get to God any other way! Stop resisting God’s Way and seek to know Him more by following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ willingly. Your faith will prosper into confident hope that will allow you to live what you believe.
Matthew 5:38-42 (NLT)
“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”
To properly oppose something, you must know your objective. You must see the face of your enemy clearly. We do not battle against flesh and blood. Let me say it another way – people are not your problem they are your priority. Resistance is only as strong as its company. The more people who are shown the Love of Jesus and choose to walk in His Way – the greater the strength of the Body of Christ enabling greater force over the enemy. Trouble is that we are so busy fighting with each other that the church has lost sight of its objective. “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” (Romans 12:18-20) The greatest militia ever gathered together was constructed of people. It would be safe to assume that not everyone was the best of friends and some almost enemies themselves, but they had one goal and a common cause. They were connected by purpose so they put their differences aside. Who is keeping you from properly resisting? They are not your enemy! “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35) If you are part of God’s Army, then your life will consist of following His Commandment to love other people. Not as the world does, but as Jesus does. This and only this will prove that we are His Disciples. Stop resisting people, embrace them and love them in the Name of Jesus!
Acts 7:46-53 (NLT)
“David found favor with God and asked for the privilege of building a permanent Temple for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who actually built it. However, the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. As the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as that?’ asks the LORD. ‘Could you build me such a resting place? Didn’t my hands make both heaven and earth? “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.”
God has been trying to get His Spirit to people for a long time. People don’t want God’s Spirit in them but rather chooses to build a shelter for Him. Most folks would rather go to church and experience the Lord and then leave Him there until they choose to return again rather than taking the Holy Spirit with them. Human beings are becoming increasingly more and more uncomfortable with intimacy choosing to communicate via text and the internet rather than face-to-face. “Must you resist the Holy Spirit?” Churches in particular are divided on the subject. Is He active? Is He a silent partner? Or let’s just ignore Him altogether. His Absence is why people pray if it is your will God – heal us, deliver us, prosper us and so on! Don’t be ridiculous OF COURSE it is God’s Will, Plan and Purpose for your life! It is in His Word. His Spirit is the guarantee of all that He has promised so without the Spirit there must not be a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:22) The Spirit of God guarantees our inheritance as Children of God. (Ephesians 1:14) It would seem that we need the Spirit of God. Jesus gave Himself to us to live in us. (Romans 8:10) The Holy Spirit teaches how to live and follow Jesus. He gives us wisdom and explains a Truth much higher than our thoughts. (John 14:17) His Spirit is the Power that raised Jesus from the dead entrusted to you for personal use. (Romans 8:11) You are His Temple now so it matters how you live. (I Corinthians 6:19) His Spirit prospers you from the inside our producing fruit that will not rot and decay. (Galatians 5:22-23) The Holy Spirit is greater than he that is in the world and secures your victory! (I John 4:4) Why are people resisting the Spirit of God and Holy Inhabitation? “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30) Stop resisting the Holy Spirit! He identifies you as a Child of God which should be reflected in the way that you live and guarantees every promise which is impossible outside of His Presence!
Ephesians 6:10-17 (NLT)
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Being part of the resistance is to live engaged in battle! You are a soldier ready for war! But you do not fight against flesh and blood as humanity does, but this is a more deadly engagement. You cannot see the adversary. You do not know what he looks like only the damage to your life. It is time to take a stand and stop resisting God’s Way, God’s People, and His Spirit. The Lord has provided everything you need to be victorious and overcome every opposition, but you my friend must take a stand. Strap on the Armor of God and walk boldly through this life. You have NOTHING to fear and by faith so much to gain! Stand your ground! You are the resistance and you have chosen the winning team! Now all you have to do is walk it out and resist the enemy!
James 4:5-10 (NLT)
What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
Are you ready to take a stand? Are you tired of being chased and beaten up by the enemy? Join the resistance today! Become a part of the Body of Christ which is God’s Army! You are destined to win. You will overcome by the Blood of the Lamb! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Faith will empower you to build confident hope that will allow you to stand stronger and taller than ever before. You are now part of something bigger than yourself, but it all begins with you! Resist the devil. Come to close to God and He will come close to you! It doesn’t matter how many times you have fallen or walked away – His Grace lets you stand once more. God opposes pride but favors the humble. He is not looking for all that but wants all of you! He will lift you up! Join the resistance today!
2 Timothy 2:3-7 (NLT)
Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things.