Jesus gives a man the ability to speak by removing a demon from his midst. His power, they claim, comes from Satan. To that He says, “‘Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul’” (Luke 11:17-18 NIV).
Indeed, nothing divided against itself can prosper. And here’s the problem: I often give myself opposition. Maybe you do, too.
Last week, I wrote about the outside opposition Nehemiah and the builders faced as they constructed Jerusalem’s wall. This week, I’m writing about the inside opposition to the wall’s completion.
“Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews” (Nehemiah 5:1 NIV).
In Nehemiah’s situation, some were complaining about a lack of grain (V. 2). Others were complaining because of mortgaging requirements (V. 3). Still others were complaining about borrowing money and having to enslave their own children (V. 4-5).
As you know, complaining prohibits productivity. You cannot make progress when you’re listening to complainers. In the same way, Nehemiah’s contemporaries are creating an opposition toward the completion of Jerusalem’s wall.
But let’s relate Nehemiah to our lives.
It may not be other people slowing your productivity. If you’re anything like me, it’s yourself. You see, sometimes your greatest enemy is—well, you!
Think about it. How many times have your own fears kept you from God’s plan? How many times have your anxieties limited God’s work space? How many times have your sins stood in your way?
If you want to see God’s best for your life, you must deny those lies in your head.
I struggle with this greatly. Last Sunday, I found a way to describe my life: anything but free. You think I’m kidding? I’m not, man.
It’s easy for me to believe Satan’s lies, but it’s difficult for me to believe God’s truth. That’s a problem. For example, Satan tends to place little distractions in my brain. Crazy distractions. Quite often.
Here’s an example: “If you place your hand on that water bottle, you think you’re better than Freddy.”
It’s insane. But it’s a struggle, and it keeps me from experiencing the true freedom God intends for me.
Crazy as they seem, those are Satan’s lies. Unfortunately, it’s easier for me to believe those debilitating lies than it is for me to believe God’s truth.
Jesus says, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 NLT).
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law” (Galatians 5:1 NLT).
Satan’s lies enslave you. God’s truth frees you. Never forget that.
We desire to accomplish great things. We’re in the process of a great work. God desires to use each of us in a phenomenal way for His eternal Kingdom. Therefore, let us not be enslaved to ourselves. Let us not slow our work for the sake of inside opposition. God is greater than our struggles, and His plan is bigger than all of Satan’s lies piled atop one another … and then some!
Isaiah Pauley is a senior at Wahama High School. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.