Recently, I have been thinking of the multiple times that I have felt resistance or experienced it. It is certainly not my favorite feeling, but there is a purpose in it. Most of the time when we feel resistance, we will either retreat or we will forge forward. I believe that there is a key to be gained in engaging the resistance. A key to overcoming and a key to a victorious life.
I believe that resistance can and will most likely show up in an area where we face difficulty in trusting in the Lord. For me this was in finances. There was a time when I would panic if I had to place all my trust in God in this area and it was something that I felt that I was on my own. I could believe in miracles for everyone around me but when it pertained to miracles for myself, I couldn’t believe or fully trust God. I think this is because I didn’t see myself as worthy as a daughter of the Creator. When I remarried my husband (yes remarried), I could feel that a change was beginning to happen and that a place of ease was created. I finally felt freedom from my past of poverty stricken memories and that I was beginning to feel victory over the trauma of lack.
I still had an area of my life though that I didn’t fully release for complete healing. This area shone brightly through much pressure and I would soon need an encounter with the presence of God to shift my perspective of who I was becoming.
In my second year of ministry school, I was presented with ministry opportunities (like all second year students). There were two opportunities that I felt like God was leading me to. One was Argentina and one to Asia. Mind you, I had my daughter’s ministry trip to Sierra Leone to help raise money for as well which was very expensive. At this point, I could stand in my own strength and knowledge but I began to see how much I needed a deeper revelation of God’s goodness and grace.
I remember as I was coming up on a hard deadline for my Asia ministry trip, I began to tell God I don’t know how this would ever happen, but You do. I would sometimes be awakened at night with fear or with anxiety as to how this would happen. This was resistance for me as this was pushing on the buttons that triggered my past pain in this area of provision. At that moment, I could either lean into the resistance and go where the Spirit was leading me or I could retreat back into what was familiar , which in this case was trusting myself over my Father. One day during this process, my husband called and said “Babe, we don’t have the extra money to give for any ministry trips. You will have to let them know that you cant go.” Even though this was extremely practical, I couldn’t just “let it go”. I told him that I wanted to wait before I pulled out of the ministry trip all together because I was just given an extension of a couple of days. This was on a Thursday and on a Friday evening, I received an unexpected call from a dear friend in Alaska. She stated that the Holy Spirit placed me on her heart approximately five different times that day and that she knew that she had to call me. We talked about school and upcoming events and then she stated that she wanted to give me $1000 towards my ministry trip to Asia. Even now when I think of this, I become overwhelmed by the goodness of God. Amazing how God meets our needs, wants, and desires.
Shortly after the Asia miracle, I was granted another financial breakthrough by a stranger at a restaurant. It was a Sunday morning after church and me a friend from ministry school decided to go and have a late breakfast at Madayne’s (a restaurant in Redding, California). As we sat down to eat, a gentleman came up to me and stated that he would like to give me a word of encouragement. He stated that I would soon experience a financial breakthrough and that I would see how faithful God is to me. I thanked him and told him that I was praying for provision for an upcoming ministry trip to South America and how this was such a great word of encouragement. The gentleman and his wife soon left the restaurant and my friend and I continued to eat and after a while we left to go on with our day. About 2 hours later, I had to pick up my daughter from her church service. When I picked her up, she stated that she was hungry and wanted to go to Madayne’s. I said “No way, I was just there and this will look weird”. We went there anyway and there was the same gentleman along with his wife who had given me a word of encouragement a few hours earlier. We made eye contact and I continued to walk to the counter to order my daughter’s food. As I proceeded back to the table, the gentleman came right up to me and told me that the Holy Spirit was leading him to give me money for my trip but that he didn’t have it earlier when he saw me. He then he said something that blew me away. He stated, “I told the Lord that if I see this woman again today, before I leave California, then I know I am supposed to give her money for her ministry trip to Argentina”. I was absolutely in shock at how everything was coming together. The gentleman and his wife brought me to their table, pulled out their credit card and paid my trip in full (which was $1000). I look at these two situations and see them as answers to prayer of course, but I also see this as a way to take and gain new territory in my heart.
When I was a single parent, the pressure of not making enough and not having enough, made me feel as though I wanted to retreat. The best way I can explain how I felt was that it almost felt that God was not going to provide. But God always did and always will. Basically, what I am saying, is that when thoughts creep up in our lives, that remind us of past emotional trauma, difficult situations or just painful times, those memories will present as resistance. It is up to us to push through the resistance and walk out on the other side of the pain.
The Journey to Trust
Trusting God in these times almost feels like walking blindfolded with only His voice to guide you. You can’t see and sometimes you don’t know what is ahead of you, but this is the time that we should lean in and begin to trust Him. The way that this will look, as it pertains to resistance, is to basically say “Lord, I trust and believe you.” When you make this statement, you are stating that you are choosing to rest in Him and not lean on your own understanding. This will begin the journey in entering His rest. Trust and rest go hand in hand and I have found that when I decide to trust in His nature and not my own, I can think clearly, believe in His ways, and then I feel victorious in whatever mountain I am trying to climb.
In the journey to trust, it will require us to see life and our circumstances through new lenses. I was speaking to a fellow business owner today who was having a difficult time and was facing resistance to make the necessary changes in her life to see success. Because I know her well, I know the challenges she has faced in the past and how she is trying to achieve breakthrough. When I spoke with her about her circumstances and what she was going to do to push through, she stated that she initially felt as if she wanted to run from the issues that were surfacing. As we talked, she began to recognize a pattern of pain that would always have her retreat, it was as if she had an ah ha moment. I firmly believe that resistance can sometimes be an indicator that you may disrupt a pattern of behavior that has kept you from moving forward. When we decide to disengage the distractions (patterns, triggers, etc.) then this is when we will make the changes necessary that will affect our lives and our quality of life.
We can also see resistance in nature as well. Look at creation and how everything that births the “new” faces resistance. The seedlings that are planted in the earth and push through the soil to sprout. The baby birds who break through their shells to be birthed. The examples could go on and on (like people changing addictive behavior’s, etc.) but you understand the point. If we start seeing our circumstances and the role that it plays in our lives differently, we could begin to walk in our true authority and shine forth as God intended.
In reading Ezra Chapter 4, we see how the Jews who were in exile were granted the ability to leave and rebuild in Israel. As the people were building the temple, resistance came to them in the form of threats, intimidation, confusion, and discouragement. This was difficult for those that were rebuilding as this posed as a distraction. Although the Jews were on assignment from God to rebuild, they still faced resistance in the form of opposition. May I suggest that when we feel confusion, discouragement, and threats against who we are as sons and daughters, that it could be the enemy of our soul? That the enemy is trying to keep us from where we are supposed to be going, and keeping us from fulfilling our assignment here on earth?
All of this to say that we are to be mindful of the things that will bring resistance in our lives. That as we see this with a new perspective, we can then embrace the change that we are to step into and become the picture of who we are supposed to be. The next time you sense resistance, try and discern where it is coming from, what you are supposed to learn from it and how you are to grow as a result.