Resistance is something Christ had to face often in His earthly ministry. From the Pharisees to the demons possessing people, He was familiar with having to confront the stubborn will of His adversaries. But how discouraging it must have been when He saw an attitude of resistance in His followers. It is expected for His opponents, both in this physical world and spiritual world, to oppose Him; but it feels wrong when those who have declared their dedication to Him stand in stubbornness against His will. Surely this was true of Judas, Peter, and others in Christ’s earthly ministry, but most sadly it is even true of me today.
A few years ago I went through a season of resistance toward Christ. I knew through the truth of His Word, the counsel of others, and the prompting of His Spirit, that He was asking me to make a change. I was in a job that I loved and was sure was fit for my gifts so I desired to remain there – regardless of what the Lord may have wanted. The signs were becoming clear that it was time for me to move on. Others around me were confirming the obvious that things would only worsen if I stayed. I wanted to fight for longevity to fulfill my own desires and goals, but this was not Christ’s best for me. I was resisting the very action He was making obvious I should do.
It was not until I found myself in a place of hopelessness that I finally turned to Christ. I fought for my own way and perhaps even wounded myself and others in the struggle. My stubborn attitude only bred more sinful attitudes such as pride, resentment, and gossip. Not only was I wreaking havoc on the perfect plan my Savior had for me, but I was missing out on the great joy He wanted to give me if I would have walked in obedience. God wanted to show me things that I never could have seen if I kept on my own path. He wanted to use me in ways that were even far greater than the ways I thought I could serve Him with my plan. My heart was not at rest; He wanted to give me peace but I chose to ignore His plan as if I could find more peace elsewhere. Perhaps one of the most grieving consequences of my resistance is that I was setting a bad example for others.
Finally, it was in the state of brokenness that I began to cry out to Christ. I confessed my wrong attitude and begged for grace to forgive me of the ways I had so obstinately opposed Him. Then, in the midst of my humiliation before Him, He brought me a relief from my guilt and a renewed vision for the future.
A renewed understanding of God’s sovereignty is a sure cure for any resistant heart.
Since then, I have given my jobs and desires over to Him, He has come in and taken from me the small dreams I was clinging on to and replaced them with things far greater. Yes, there has been pain as my hands have been peeled away from those things I was holding tightly to, but my joy and peace have increased. Though Christ has had both earthly and eternal experience with resistance, He is filled with patience yet always longs our obedience.
Christ does not only desire our obedience, but He exemplified it on earth. When He was asked by the Father to live in obedience to the Cross, He did. Though He begged for the cup to be taken from Him, He did not fight it when He had to face it. What a wonderful example of a humble and loyal attitude – even to the point of death. This attitude of submission and willing obedience must also be mine when my Savior and Lord requests something of me – even if it does not make sense to me at the time. A renewed understanding of God’s sovereignty is a sure cure for any resistant heart.