What to Remember During Opposition

January 19, 2012

Sometimes I look at where other people are in their lives and think about how great it must be.

For example, it is easy to look at a leader of a large organization or church and think about how great they must have it. People must just flock to their Sunday morning assembly because they know his name. Then hundreds must accept salvation each week.

I like to imagine that everything is hunky dory for them. When people approach them it must be with encouragement or to ask advice. Then when the advice is given, there is no push-back or backlash, the individual takes that advice and applies it to his or her life.

This is the picture I have of great leaders everywhere.

But then I read the story of the Exodus in the Old Testament.

Moses is handpicked by God to go and free His people from slavery in Egypt. God gives Moses all these signs to perform and sends Aaron with him so they could work together. How could this go badly?

When Moses steps in to save the people they all cheer, right? Not exactly. Exodus 5:20-21 tells us:

When they left Pharaoh’s presence, they met Moses and Aaron as they were waiting for them. They said to them, “May the LORD look upon you and judge you, for you have made us odious in Pharaoh’s sight and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

The people were actually angry that Moses had come to save them. There was a bump in the road, and they tell Moses they want God to judge him.

Wait just a moment, Moses was doing exactly what God had commanded him to do! There are a few reminders I have for leaders who lead a group of people of any size.

Things do not always go according to plan. Or at least they do not always go according to our plan. God had told Moses to do exactly what Moses was doing and yet there were still bumps along the way. We need to remember that even when we are following God there may still be problems. We cannot always take problems to mean that we are not doing God’s will. But what a wonderful encouragement it is to know God is in control and He has a plan!

Not everyone will like you. In fact, the larger group of people that you lead, the chance of people not liking you grows. If I lead a group of 30 or 40, hopefully only 1 or 2 will have a problem with me, but if I am leading thousands there will probably be a much greater number. When Moses and the Israelites got to the desert, so many people complained. They still questioned his leadership. Sometimes we feel like there is great opposition against us because the voices become so loud.

We must make sure that we are following God’s plan. This will help keep us pushing through even when it feels like so many people are against us. If we know that we are following God’s will then we are living for Him and that has the greatest reward. We need to also find people who will speak truth into our lives (in a loving way). These people can help guide us as we seek out God’s will and discern His voice among all of the others.

Make sure you keep praying. It is easy to get so bogged down that we feel we do not have time for quality time with God. This could not be further from the truth. In order to make sure we are following His will, we must be spending time with Him. Immediately after the people complained to Moses in Exodus 5, he went and prayed to God. He let God know he was discouraged. We must be doing the same. David prayed to God when he was discouraged, as did Jesus. We have so many great examples that we cannot afford to ignore.

Seeing the example of Moses gives me great encouragement. We have read about him and know that he was doing the right thing and still had opposition. I know that opposition will come, but it does not have to discourage me. I can take it in a wise and godly way, and then push through it so that I can keep running the race.

How do you handle discouragement when others oppose you?


One Response to “What to Remember During Opposition”

  1. Very interesting article. I talk about the same issues just not in a religious way, but great job.

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