Beginning/Side note: I wanted to include this in my previous post (Jesus = You) but this topic needed its own post to do it justice.
Disclaimer: Expect to be Tested
Every day your point of view is challenged. Whether your opinion is about style, food, or God, there is no escaping the differing views in our individualistic society. So, when the Bible says we should expect backlash and persecution when we stand on the word of God (2 Timothy 3:12), it should be no big deal for us, right? We’re used to it.
Wrong. Way way wrong.
Satan, henceforth refereed to as “the enemy”, will test you…almost more than you can bare (1 Cor. 10:13). Why?
Three basic reasons:
1. Everyone has an opinion about Jesus, and he is not very popular.
Former Christians, atheists, agnostics, and anyone else who doesn’t follow Jesus probably will have some level of hatred for him. But guess what, it isn’t their fault. Somewhere in their life, they probably were severely hurt by someone who said they were acting in Jesus’ name, and that sucks. The enemy uses that as fuel against you. It is your job to reconcile them to God and the enemy does not want that, so, he is going to beat you up.
You will be called a bigot, stupid, and a horrible person. You might be spit on, possibly punched, and definitely unfriended.
2. Your past will be brought up by people you love.
Whether you’ve been a Christian all your life or for 10 minutes, you’ve done some things wrong; and mostly in the name of self-preservation, not maliciously. When you begin telling people that you are changed because of Jesus (remember, that name leaves people with a bad taste), your list of bad deeds are going to be shoved in your face. Your faith and the image of who you are in Christ will be cut to pieces. Why will this happen? Because if the enemy can get you to doubt your identity in Christ, then he holds you captive.
3. You have never waged spiritual warfare like this.
I’m not going to get all hokum on you, Bible based Christianity says you have a body, spirit, and soul because you are created in the image of God (Genisis 1:27). God is made up of Father, Spirit, and Son. You can see about a third of what you are made of, the other two thirds of yourself is metaphysical, or in other words, spiritual.
The way the enemy wages war is by making moves and waiting to see how you react. He doesn’t know how you will react, he can’t read your mind, but he anticipates it based on your past behavior. He will tempt you where you are weak, he will challenge you where you have already failed, he will push you to the edge. Everything you claim to believe for Christ’s sake will be scrutinized down to the minutest detail. Heck, it will be the hardest thing you’ll ever do. You will feel like you are going to break. But guess what- that is the best place to be. <–My next blog post!
Being tested sucks in the moment. I’m writing this post for my bathroom while my toddler wails in the living room because he can’t watch Buzz and Woody. I’m not exempt. If you are being tested right now, take heart, you are in good company.