Three Questions To Ask When You Endure Opposition
Giving Your Prayer the Defense It Needs – Part 8
Let your response be with prayer.
The answer to it all is prayer. What’s it all? Exactly what “it all” can be? The job. Your health. Your finances. Your problem. Your day. Whatever it all is to you. This is the most important point. Because what you’re doing has never been done, it’s not a normal practice. No one has attempted it before, so you’ll need to do some praying. As I sat to write this, I asked God to give me something exciting to share and I hope I can bring my excitement out in these words.
What you’re trying to accomplish can’t be done by normal conventions, therefore you need an uncommon approach and that’s where prayer comes in. There are three questions I need to answer to give light to why you have to defend your work, your goals, your thirty-thousand-foot prayer. Here are the questions:
1) Why the opposition?
2) How does God respond?
3) What will I gain from this?
Let’s get started.
Why the opposition?
I’ve often wondered why does it (whatever it is) have to be so hard? In this case, why am I being opposed? Why is it when I attempt to do something great, it seems like nothing goes in my favor? I’ll answer that. Even though I know you’re not going to like it. It’s normal. Normal doesn’t produce those kinds of results. Therefore, your normal habits, your normal actions, your normal friends, your normal enemies, all are at work to do one thing. And that’s to make sure you remain normal.
But back to answering “why the opposition?” Nehemiah made this conclusion. He said his enemies and the surrounding nations (people) realized that this work (rebuilding the wall) had been done with the help of our God. Could it be that you’re experiencing your opposition because completing the task would be the proof to others that you had help from God?1 Let’s put it in plain English…
If you started your new business, this would indicate to others that God had his hands in it.
If you of all people were able to get that doctorate, this would indicate to others that you encountered God.
If you were able to restore your broken marriage when others failed at theirs, this would be an indication that there truly is a god in Heaven.
Wouldn’t you think opposition would come your way just so that you would not be able to make such an uncommon claim?
Number two, how does God respond?
I’ve heard it said that God answers prayer in five ways:
2) Yes, not now.
3) Yes, but not as you’d expect.
4) Yes, with more.
5) Yes, what took you so long.
The truth is I’ve found a better answer or clue from what one writer says about the promises that God makes. This writer says His promises [God’s that is] are “yes and amen.”2 Before you challenge that, clear your mind because we need to define this. You see when we hear that we assume God only gives us a “yes” answer to what we’ve asked. That’s normal thinking and thinking that has no idea what the two words mean.
“Yes” simply means you’ll get an affirmative reply. A reply that’s positive not negative.
“Amen” means so be it or as my grandmother taught me “let it be so.”
When we take this into consideration, God’s answer is always in your favor. When God answers it’s always in your favor and will require action from you. If you are unwilling to act when God speaks, you probably don’t want to talk to Him and you’re wasting your time. If you have enough courage to pray, have enough to act because He’s making the steps favorable no matter what’s on the path. Your action is the only thing that can please Him and benefits you; it’s called faith.
Number three, what will I gain from this?
The lesson in how God answers changes what happens next. When God speaks to us (whether in prayer or outside of prayer), the end result is a next action step for the one He speaks to. He gives only one answer and that answer is a step to be taken.
The Lord, Himself, said to Abram, “leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you3 [do this next step that I, God, will show you].
A “common” practice is for a person to pray for changes or actions to be made for another person. God can you change “so-and-so” or can you fix “so-and-so?” God rarely answers such a prayer…without you seeing the action you must take. You see…
Lord save my family, results in Him giving you a next set of actions.
Lord, I want to be debt free; results in you making a next action step.
God heal me from cancer; He’ll give you a next step of action to make.
Lord restore my marriage; will require a next action step.
God respects, responds and enjoys it when you take action. It says that faith without actions is dead4 or useless and it’s faith that pleases, brings enjoyment, brings satisfaction to God.5
The takeaway is to never leave prayer until you know what next step you need to make.
What is that action step God’s asking you to do, but you’re ignoring?
It’s that step that will lead you to the next words God has for you, yet another step that will lead you straight to the answer, to your prayer. What will you gain? The path way you need to take the action that answers your prayer.
As I mentioned at the start of this lesson, I write this with the intent that it would bring some excitement. It excites me to know that 1) the opposition is an indication that what we’re after isn’t normal, 2) God gives but one answer which brings me to a favorable outcome no matter what the path looks like, and 3) through prayer the control of our situation and answer has been placed in our hands. We have been made an agent for this change.
Question: Where have you gotten stuck in your prayer request, bigger goal, your impossible dream?
Reference #1: Nehemiah 6:14-16 NLT, Bible.com, accessed November 5, 2020, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/NEH.6.14-16.NLT
Reference #2: II Corinthians 1:20 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed November 5, 2020, https://www.bible.com/bible/114/2CO.1.20.NKJV
Reference #3: Genesis 12:1 NLT, Bible.com, accessed November 5, 2020, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/GEN.12.1.NLT
Reference #4: James 2:17 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed November 5, 2020, https://www.bible.com/bible/114/JAS.2.17.nkjv
Reference #5: Hebrews 11:6 NLT, Bible.com, accessed November 5, 2020, https://my.bible.com/bible/116/HEB.11.6.NLT