Opposition Propels Promotion (1) ( by Fenny West)

Opposition Propels Promotion (1)

Jacob and Joseph

31            What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Ro8:31

When you are in Christ, you are more than a conqueror. Your life is ‘hid in Christ in God.’ Anyone who opposes you is opposing God and all their intrigues will not only come to nothing but in the fullness of time it will transpire that they were working for your good, even though they were opposing you.

Why?

The word of God clearly states:

28   And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Ro8:28

 

17   No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.

Isa54:17

Opposition can come directly from Satan, principalities and powers ( his cohorts) or it can come from those around us- friends, relatives, even family, spouse or church members,neighbours etc etc. But we are not ignorance of the devices of the enemy. We do not give the foe any bridge head, loophole, or any entry point.

Why?

We are in a spiritual warfare and the way to outwit the enemy is to see through the eyes of God and use our spiritual weapons.

God fights for those who put their trust in Him and not fight with carnal weapons against those who oppose those the enemy uses to oppose them.

Isaiah 26:3 King James Version (KJV)

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Let your mind be stayed on God and His word and His promises to you.

 Refuse to fear or be moved by your adversary or circumstance, no matter how it poses itself or the form it takes. You are a winner in Christ.

, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.

14   The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”Ex14:13-14

You are not left vulnerable or helpless. God has armed you to the teeth with weapon that devastate and will fell your opposition like David fell Goliath.

4     For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

5     casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

2Cor10:4-5

Put on the whole armour of God

The Whole Armor of God

10   Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

11   Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12   For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

13   Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14   Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15   and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16   above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

17   And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

18   praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints —

In this passage there are six pieces of amour that the believer facing opposition must don as to prevail.

  1. Belt of truth

  2. Breastplate of righteousness

  3. Shoes of the Gospel

  4. Shield of faith

  5. Helmet of Salvation

  6. Sword of the Spirit- the Word of God

However, I see even a seventh weapon in this scripture which may not be apparent.

Notice that all of these weapons are defensive weapons  except the sword which is offensive. Another observation is that they are all predicated on the word of God.

The word of God is truth; the truth that if you know makes you free.

 “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

32   And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John8:32)

 

The breastplate of righteousness is also hinged on the word of God that you know about yourself- who you are in Christ: Your right-standing in Christ

(30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption —1Cor1:30, 21              For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2Cor5:21).

The shoes of the Gospel relates to your ability and readiness to testify of what the Lord has done in your life, in line with His promises and your actualization of what He has accomplished for you that moves others to believe your God. Such testimonies will also keep you standing when you remember them later on in other battles as your ‘remembrance stones’- your ‘Ebenezers.’- your stone of help.( 1Sam7:12)

11            And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Rev12:11

The shield of faith has to do with your acceptance of the Word of God as God speaking to you and acting on the word to get results.

17            For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Ro1:17

17            So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Ro10:17

The sword of the Spirit is your ability to skillfully handle God’s word to engage in a warfare against the adversary, just like when the devil came against Jesus when He was fasting and praying in readiness to embark on His ministry. Jesus wielded the sword:

 

 Satan:If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

 

Jesus “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” Matt4:4

And when that was countered, He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘ In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’

 Jesus came back with another thrust of the sword:

 

“It is written again, You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’

And when Satan came back at Him, promising to give Him everything that has been delivered to him, Jesus became more ferocious:

“Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’

God’s Word is Powerful. Use it!

12   For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.Heb4:12

12   For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.Heb4:12

So what does this boil down to in regard to your opposition?

All you need to do is to saturate yourself with the Word of God. Know who you are in Christ and Whose you are and what He has done for you and currently doing for you, even in what you are experiencing. In one sense God has done everything He needs to do for you when Jesus died and rose against from the dead. All you need to do is to enforce the victory He won on Calvary’s Cross.

Bless those who oppose you at every opportunity. Be on the offensive in the spirit, resisting the enemy and his intrigues. Make it abundantly clear that you are not ignorant of his devices. Pray in the spirit and in the understanding to make tremendous power available to outwit the foe.

Know the different kinds of prayer you can prayer when you engaging in this spiritual warfare:

There is the prayer of:

Faith,

supplication

confession(who you are and whose you are, what Christ did to defeat those who opposed Him and now oppose you indirectly),

dedication

praise,

worship,

thanksgiving even before you see the results, agreement etc.

You need to be confident that there are angelic hosts assigned to protect you.  You also need pray that the eyes of your understanding will be enlightened to know or see in the spirit realm what strategies the enemy is using against you so that you can lay the axe to the root.

16   that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,

17   that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

18   may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height —

19   to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Eph3:16-19

Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom

15   Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

16   do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

17   that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

18   the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

19   and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

20   which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

21   far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

 

When Elisha’s servant saw the hosts of enemy forces arrayed against them, he feared and ran to report to his master. Elisha had to pray to God that his servant’s eyes will be opened to see that they were well covered and protected by the Lord.

 

17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha2Ki6:17

You need to meditate on the inspirational stories in the Word of God regarding those who faced opposition and how God not only protected them but used the opposition to propel their promotion in ministry, at home, in their relationships etc. and how God fought for them.

Let’s now examine a few scenarios where opposition propelled promotion.

Jacob

He was a miracle son to Jacob who married Rachel- the love of his life after serving Laban for 14 years. He had served the first seven years with the hope of marrying her, but on the night of the wedding he was short-changed and given Leah instead. Jacob had a rude awakening when the sun shone in the morning after consummating the marriage to discover that the woman he was making love to was a fake- counterfeit.

I can imagine how he felt so cheated and opposed by his father in law to be. In his relationship with Laban we also discover that his wages were changed many times with the intention of reducing what he earned but God used the occasion to advance Jacob, and Laban knew that God was with Jacob and blessed him because of Jacob.

And as Jacob humbled himself and served another 7 years, he eventually had the apple of his eyes -Rachel -as bride.

Circumstances seemed continually against him as he discovered that the woman he loved, Rachel, was barren. She was so upset about her condition that one day she confronted him in anger and desperation: ‘Give me a child or I die.’

Her sister was popping out the children like popcorn but she was just looking, longing to have hers and depressed. They even made fun of her.

However, in the fullness of time, that circumstantial opposition was turned into promotion when Joseph was born. Jacob so loved him that he made a coat of many colours for him. He was his darling, his jewel and could never do wrong. Whilst others went to labour in the field, Joseph was under the bosom of his dad. This triggered jealousy and hatred and opposition of his brothers.

Joseph

We can recall Joseph’s dream as a young man. And when he shared that dream all hell was let loose against him. The interpretation of the dream was unmistakable- he would be the top-dog of the family and all others would bow to him or be subservient to him. Whilst they were nursing their anger about the first dream, Joseph dreamed another dream which had a similar meaning.

Whilst Joseph shared the dream innocently, he did not know that he compounded their anger. They sought every opportunity to deflate his ego.

That opportunity came when his father sent him on an errand to take food to his brothers in the forest.

As he approached they gloated and plotted:

 “Look, this dreamer is coming!

20   Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!”Gen37:19-20

 

They began by throwing him into the pit and stripping him of his coat of many colours. Later they changed their minds when Reuben pleaded:“Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him

Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt. Gen37:28

 They cooked up a story and killed an animal and smeared his coat with it and took it to their father and pretended they saw it abandoned and left him to draw his own conclusions based on the evidence.

This is opposition in the family. Does it remind you of sibling rivalry? You can find this in many families. You may have been a victim or currently a victim. You may be one of those who opposed your siblings because your dad of mother showed some favoritism towards them. You can see how far such rivalries can go. In some cases, this type of rivalry can even lead to murder.

How did this propel Joseph’s promotion?

The evidence is there in the scriptures. Joseph ended up in Egypt and became a servant of Potiphar.  He comported himself well and did not allow the injustice and opposition that estranged him to affect the service of his master. He did not take it out on his master, but rather served him well with integrity and excellence. He was intimate with his God and served his master as though he was serving God. This is how you outwit your enemy. You need to realise that you are engaged in a spiritual warfare and refuse to use carnal weapons. The result of Joseph’s attitude was altitude – prosperity galore. God blessed Potiphar because of Joseph and his master knew it. Joseph was favoured in the house as his master left everything in his charge. He was like a governor in the house.

Later on, there was another slant of the ploy of the enemy to depose Joseph. When he saw that what his brothers did to him did not affect his service, he used Potiphar’s wife to seduce Joseph because he was so handsome. May be he had six packs and she lusted for him. Whilst Joseph went about his business, cleaning the house she must have dressed provocatively to see his reaction. When that failed she decided to force him one day as he came to clean her room. As she grabbed him and wanted intimacy. Joseph left his coat with her and ran away.

I can imagine her screaming for all the neighbours to come and see what Joseph did to her. She alleged that Joseph had come to violate her. And it was her word against his and they believed her. When his master came, she must have cried and told her part of the story, embellishing it to demonised Joseph. His master was forced to send Joseph to prison to keep the peace.

Now imagine Joseph who had had a grandiose dream as a young man, vehemently opposed by his brothers and sold into slavery. After serving his master without bitterness and prospering and making the whole house prosper, he is now thrown in to prison on trumped up charges. Some will say, ‘Where is God in all of this?’

How would you have handled this?

Joseph could not be tripped by the enemy of his soul.  He always saw things through the eyes of God. He refused to take it out on other prisoners. Rather, he chose to be a blessing and exemplary and excellent in his service. He cared for other inmates and looked out for their interests. Because of the way he distinguished himself, the prison warden made him an overseer of other prisoners. His fellow inmates were able to confide in him and he counselled and interpreted the dreams they dreamed that troubled them.

20   Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison.

21   But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

22   And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing.

23   The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.

Gen39:20-23

He did not shy away from dreams, given that it was a dream that began his troubles- landing him in a foreign land and now in prison, despite his integrity and purity.

In the fullness of time, the interpretation of the dream of one of the inmates opened a door for him when Pharaoh dreamed a dream that troubled him and there was none to interpret the dream.

Suddenly the butler who had forgotten Joseph after his release, remembered and told Pharaoh:

 “I remember my faults this day.

10   When Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, both me and the chief baker,

11   we each had a dream in one night, he and I. Each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream.

12   Now there was a young Hebrew man with us there, a servant of the captain of the guard. And we told him, and he interpreted our dreams for us; to each man he interpreted according to his own dream.

13   And it came to pass, just as he interpreted for us, so it happened. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.” Gen41:9-13

 

Joseph is Promoted

Life has its twists and turns and though it seemed that bad things kept happening to Joseph despite his goodness, uprightness, integrity and purity, God was working behind the seen and scene; God was working everything together for the good of the one who loved him and would not retaliate. God was building a staircase of glory and promotion from the injustice, unfairness and demotion.

So when life gives you a lemon you can use it to make lemonade, as they say. Leave your case with God.  See circumstances through the eyes of God. And when you do, He will fight for you and you will hold your peace. He will use your opposition to propel your promotion, as he did for Joseph.

Joseph, the outcast, forgotten, rejected, the ostracized, became a ‘fruitful bow’, the bread basket of the family. Rachel’s barrenness- opposition became fruitfulness-galore in the fullness of time. God used Joseph to bless the whole family and Egypt in the time of famine, in fulfillment of the prophetic dream that came a long time ago. God used their opposition to promote Joseph. They meant it for evil but God used it to save many lives. Glory be to God!

3     Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence.

4     And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.

5     But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.

Gen45:3-5

Are you facing opposition? Relax. Rejoice. Give praise and glory to God for what He is doing in the background. He is preparing a table for you in the presence of your enemies. Refuse to play into the hands of your enemies by retaliating.  Rise above the opposition. See it as a ladder for your promotion. Sing and praise in the prison. From the prison you will rise into the palace like Joseph rose to the palace. This reminds me of Mandela and Chiluba who went from prison to become the President of South Africa and Zambia.

26   “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

27            nor give place to the devil.Eph4:26-27

Jesus prayed for those who were crucifying Him. Stephen also prayed for those who were stoning him to death. Jesus saw the glory ahead and endured the cross. You too can endure your cross if you see the glory beyond.

2              looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb12:2

Seeing the Invisible

16   Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

17   For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

18   while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

Your promotion is coming like it came to Joseph

Joseph’s Rise to Power

37   So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants.

38   And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”

39   Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you.

40   You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”

41   And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

42   Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.

43   And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.

44   Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

Gen41:37-44

Your time is coming. Your opposition is working for you. If God be for you who can be against you? All things are working together for your good if you love God. Your destiny shall not be scuppered by injustice and unfairness. Expect a sudden turnaround as it happened to Joseph. Repay evil with good. Refuse to be tempted to take it out on others. See through what you are going through and see the enemy camouflaging to trip you up. Give him no room. See how God is preparing a table, and banquet for you. Give thanks to God for the coming promotion before it comes.

Let us pray:

Father, I thank You that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. You are the Lord and You never change. You are the unchanging changer. There is nothing that escapes You. You are able to turn any table to bless those who put their trust in You. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow those who leave their case with You.

I thank You that my adversaries are working for me. I will not fear any evil, because You are with me and helping me. Thank You that You are working behind the scene and the seen and I will come out on top in the end. Thanks be to God who always causes me to triumph. My opposition will spell promotion that is unprecedented. Many will see and hear and fear and put their trust in the Living God. I thank You for the victor’s crown awaiting me.

As I wait on You patiently, my strength is renewed; my resolve is renewed, to stay focused on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith. I see with the eyes of faith, the joy from promotion ahead of me, In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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