Opposition

by Rebecca Price Janney @rebeccajanney

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God…you are from God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.                                              1 John 4:1, 4 NASB

When I was in seminary, I dreamed of becoming a historian, professor, and author. Newspapers had been publishing my articles since I was just fourteen, I’d written for a national magazine, loved history, and enjoyed the affirmation of people who’d taken my Sunday School classes. All students were required to meet with a career counselor to determine our fitness for the various ministries we hoped to pursue, and I went to our meeting confidently. I did not leave in the same emotional state.

Talk about blunt. After reviewing the tests I’d taken, he pronounced, “You’ll never be happy holed up in a library doing the kind of research getting a doctorate would require.” He added, not for good measure, that I possessed “average writing ability.” Didn’t he know I was already an experienced journalist?

I was crushed, but not in despair. God had given me certain talents and goals, and I was determined that He was going to have the last word. He enabled me to earn that doctorate, with honors, and I’m about to have my twenty-third book published.

Many have said whenever God directs His people toward the work He has for them, they can expect opposition. Biblical examples abound. Think about Noah. When he began building his ark, his neighbors jeered and publicly humiliated him. How about Joseph? After sharing his dream with his brothers, they sold him into slavery. (At least my career counselor didn’t throw me into a pit and sell me.) No doubt Mary endured misunderstanding and averted-eyes-whispers when villagers learned of her “problem pregnancy.”

Nehemiah certainly encountered ridicule as he attempted to restore Jerusalem’s shattered walls. Opponents of the Jews tried mixing their insults with his mortar. They asked, “Who does he think he is, anyway?” Sanballat, Tobiah, and their cohorts held the visionary up as an example of deranged ambition, but even worse, some of Nehemiah’s fellow Jews “came from all directions,” shelling him with a steady barrage of negativism (Nehemiah 4:12). Ten times they urged him to give up the work. I imagine it was a struggle for him to maintain focus on the One who had called him to the job.

Not all “experts” have clear vision. Did you know Lauren Daigle tried out for American Idol twice, and failed to achieve success? One of my favorite stories along these lines is about Fred Astaire. When he took a screen test, the report came back, “Can’t sing. Can’t act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little.”

We can all relate to times we’ve heard God’s clear call upon our lives, and others rose up in opposition, whether they were authorities, family members, friends, or casual observers. When you undertake the plans God has for you, expect antagonism. Don’t let the naysayers catch you off guard, though. If you are sure of God’s call, take heart “because he who inspires you is greater than he who inspires the godless world” (1 John 4:4, NEB).

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Opposition – thoughts on #followingGod when others object from @RebeccaJanney on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Rebecca Price Janney Author Photo 2018About the author: Rebecca Price Janney is the author of twenty-two published books, including the Easton Series, Morning Glory: A Novel of the First Great Awakening, Great Women in American History, Who Goes There? A Cultural History of Heaven and Hell, and Harriet Tubman. A theologically-trained historian, she holds a doctorate from Missio Seminary, as well as degrees from Princeton Seminary and Lafayette College. Rebecca and her husband Scott live in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley with their teenage son and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She does a weekly podcast, Inspiring Stories in American History and is a popular speaker on historical topics.

Rebecca’s book, Easton at the Crossroads, is the compelling story of two people, more Easton at the Crossroads (Easton Series) (Volume 3)than two hundreds years apart, bound by family ties, life experiences, and the town of Easton, Pennsylvania. They have done everything they know to be right, but still, life is turning out all wrong.

Join the conversation: Have you ever been discouraged by someone as you pursued God’s calling?

Hands War. Fingers Battle.

by Jean Holland @brideguide77

Why do I write?

God has laid it on my heart to sound the alarm: Get ready for Jesus’ return.

One of my favorite past times is chasing rabbits, not fur bunnies, but rabbit trails laid out in Scripture. The Scriptures are full of reasons to obey His call to write.

“We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT).

Y’all, we are in the midst of a spiritual battle. The enemy of our souls hates us with a passion. Satan’s job description is to kill, steal, and destroy. He has had plenty of practice since the Garden of Eden. He is diligent to fulfill his purpose. We must know the weapons of our warfare to battle him effectively. Our textbook is the Bible and our training ground is the world in which we live.

“Praise the Lord, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle” (Psalm 144:1 NLT).

When I sit down to write my earnest prayer is, Lord, train my hands to war and my fingers to fight. Send forth Your Word and let there be light, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I am not a typist. I trust auto-correct and spell check to catch my typos. But more importantly as I write, I trust God to be true to His Word. It will not return void. It will accomplish what He sends it out to do. My job is to write the best I can and leave the results to Him. My motivation to continue on is much like Jeremiah’s:

But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in His name, His word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it! Jeremiah 20:9 NLT

Whatever God has called us to do, may it burn like a fire in our bones so we can’t hold it in.

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Hands War. Fingers Battle. Thoughts on #FollowingGod from Jean Holland, @BrideGuide77 on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Jean HollandAbout the author: Jean Holland has written and taught local and international Bible studies for children, youth, and adults to encourage the Bride of Christ to triumph through turbulent times. She has one book in the hands of a content editor awaiting publication, The Rising Bride: A Wake-up call for Christians Living in the Last Days.

Jean enjoys family camping trips across the USA and Canada in a vintage motor home. Her Beloved blog is devoted to heralding the call of our soon coming King.

Join the conversation: Is God’s calling a fire burning in your bones? What is it?

Working with God

by Edie Melson

 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

I am constantly amazed that the God of the universe has chosen to work through us. I don’t know about you, but I’m totally unworthy and unequipped for the honor. And looking at the condition of our world, I have to occasionally throw my hands up in frustration and ask, “What were you thinking?” Obviously, if He were doing the work Himself, we’d all be a lot better off…

…or would we?

Growing up, some of my fondest memories were times I spent in the kitchen with my grandmother. She’d back a kitchen chair up to the counter, wrap one her old aprons twice around me and together we’d spend the afternoon cooking. My grandmother never used recipes and I don’t ever remember seeing her open a cookbook. All her skill—and it was impressive—was completely intuitive. No matter how many dishes she had on the stove, or in the oven, she always knew when one needed a pinch of salt, an addition of bacon fat or to be plucked—perfectly done—from the oven.

But with all her skill, she always found a way to include me and make me a vital part of the process. There was no doubt that she could have gotten the meals on the table much faster without my childish help, but I know she enjoyed our time together as much as me. I’m certain of this because I did the same thing with my boys. I included them, not because I needed their help, but because I wanted to spend time with them and maybe teach them something in the process.

God does the same thing with us. He doesn’t need our help or our resources, but he includes us because we’re precious to him.

And, just maybe, we’ll learn something in the process.

Edie-MelsonAbout the author: Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, no matter if she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction, or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her latest book, While My Child is Away; Prayers for While Were Apart is available at local retailers and online. Connect with her further at www.EdieMelson.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Edie’s book, While My Child is Away,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: To what work is God calling you? What are you learning as you fulfill that calling?