Picture this. God sends you a word through a prophet or from a pastor at local your church. He or she prophesies over you, saying that “God has a promise over your life,” or that you are “destined for greatness.” The ‘promise’ can be anything from starting a ministry to creating a successful business. It could also be that the LORD spoke to you, revealing that you would someday marry and start a family. Certainly, these promises sound like music to your ears—especially if you have been stuck in a long, painful ‘wilderness.’ You are excited and take heed to every instruction that the LORD gives you to bring these wonderful promises to past. Yet—not long after receiving this revelation—a sudden wave of opposition heads your way! Wait, what’s going on here?! But God, didn’t you say….? are common questions that one may ask— as the promises that once felt like a beam of light at the end of the tunnel, now seem impossible to come to past.
Indeed, this common scenario leads me to dig into the subject of opposition and how it may cause you to question the validity of God’s promises. Many of you may have come to this point in your walk with God in that what you see happening on a day-to-day basis doesn’t align with what has been spoken over your life. Actually, as I am writing this blog post to encourage you all who are facing this experience, I too am struggling to understand the adversity that comes along with receiving such revelation from God. So, you are NOT alone. Nonetheless, to fully explore this situation, I will address some of the main reasons why receiving a prophetic word from the LORD can bring forth an overwhelming amount of opposition, in which you find yourself thinking ‘Did God really say….?‘
Revelation of God’s promises brings power
When you receive revelation about your promise, you gain much power over the enemy. Your awareness of your purpose ignites a certain level of faith that brings what was once out of reach into your possession.
It’s like finding a lost key to a treasure chest that was purposefully hidden from you, causing whoever hid the key to become angry. Likewise, as you stand in your authority with God, the enemy loses his grip on whatever area of your life that has been held in bondage. You pose no threat to the kingdom of darkness when you are blinded by the enemy through sin, low self-worth, and spiritual confusion. In fact, the bible refers to this as being “dead in sin”—as one has no understanding of truth and righteousness.
But, when you surrender your life to Christ and see your purpose through the eyes of God, you become a target of the enemy who then seeks to kill, steal and destroy your destiny. Unfortunately, the enemy often does this by using family, friends or acquaintances to come against you or by tempting you to make decisions that cause you to forfeit your promises. Thankfully, the LORD has given us His word and HOLY spirit to walk us through this type of spiritual warfare, which ultimately tests our faith in what He has spoken to us. Generally, it is important that we continue to reflect upon the LORD’s provisions for our lives in order to maintain power over the enemy.
People won’t accept what God has planned for you
Like stated previously, the enemy gets angry when you aware of your purpose, so he will use the people closest to you to derail your path to the promise. With this, some of the people around you will refuse to accept your walk with God, let alone believe that you could receive any promise because of it.
Let’s use David and his brother Eliab as an biblical example.
1 Samuel 16 introduces us to the story of David, a young shepherd boy who is pretty much overlooked and belittled by his family, especially by his older brothers. God sent prophet Samuel to anoint David as Israel’s future king, choosing him over all of his older brothers who seemed (from the outside) to be a better choice to lead Israel. Although Samuel had anointed David as king, Eliab still held onto David’s role as a shepherd boy and would not accept the calling that the LORD had placed upon David’s life.
Specifically, in 1 Samuel 17:28, the word says that:
“When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
Now, notice what Eliab says to David in that verse. He says “And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness?” Ahh there’s that word ‘wilderness’ again! You see, as David is moving away from a literal wilderness (as well as a figurative one) and is reaching a new level in his path toward kingship, his brother Eliab is there to remind him of where he had come from as a way to discredit his worthiness of the promise. Eliab simply could not accept David’s anointing to be king because he could only identify David as a shepherd boy in the wilderness. Likewise, you may have family, friends or acquaintances who just can’t see you beyond your wilderness. Surely, God told you that you would one day be a husband or wife, but everyone only sees you as a single parent. You may be destined to be a CEO of a successful business, but your family may only see you as someone who will always be broke, unemployed or depended upon them. God has cleaned you up from your past sins and called you into ministry, yet your family or friends can only see you as the life of the party, a drunkard, a drug addict, a criminal, a womanizer, a fornicator, or a prostitute. Unfortunately, those closest to us are often not moving alongside us in our walk with God, so they can’t see the fruit that He has placed in us.
What about those that actually do see the fruit of the spirit in you and are angry that you have it?
Well take King Saul for instance. King Saul was terribly threatened by David’s anointing as future king and wanted to take him out of the way. King Saul was being replaced by David and refused to bow out gracefully, even though he disobeyed God and thereby lost his position as king. After David stood boldly on behalf of the Israelites and killed Goliath, many people began to recognize David’s anointing, which stirred up jealousy in King Saul.
In 1 Samuel 18:6-9 it says that:
“When David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, playing songs of joy on timbrels. 7 The women sang as they played, and said, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” 8 Then Saul became very angry. This saying did not please him. He said, “They have given David honor for ten thousands, but for me only thousands. Now what more can he have but to be king?” 9 And Saul was jealous and did not trust David from that day on.”
Similarly, there maybe someone or a group of people around you that are uncomfortable with your calling because you are entering into their territory. You may have a boss who is threatened by your skills and refuses to promote you despite being qualified for a certain position. You may have a friend or family member that shares the same hobby/career goal as you and becomes jealous when they see certain opportunities coming your way. Unlike the example with Eliab and David where some can’t see past your wilderness, there are others that can see your potential but want to destroy it.
Overall, this kind of opposition is very painful and the most challenging because it often comes from the very people that we love and respect. But fortunately, God is NOT moved by what others think or try to do against His plans for us. Therefore, no opposition, although quite overwhelming, can stand in the way of our promises.
You’re trying to get to the promise in your own strength
Dealing with opposition can sometimes push us to take matters into our own hands. You may get tired of waiting for the LORD to avenge you from your enemies or from circumstances that test your faith, so you compromise your relationship with God to finally reach the end goal. But this is a HUGE mistake!
Let’s examine David again—when he decides to join the Philistines to escape King Saul.
As David continued to rise, winning battle after battle, King Saul’s jealousy increases so much that he seeks to take David’s life. David grew weary of King Saul’s constant attempts to kill him, so he made the decision to get rid of the problem by any means necessary—by joining the side of the enemy of Israel.
In 1 Samuel 27:1-2, David says:
“One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand. 2 So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath.”
Based on this scripture, David was desperate and lost faith in the LORD’s timing. Instead of trusting that God would avenge him at the right moment, David compromised his morals and decided to seek protection from Achish, who was a Philistine ruler of Gath. David had not only turned away from God, he also almost forfeited his promise by coming against the very people that he would one day lead. In fact, in 1 Samuel 27:10-12, it shows that when escaping into the Philistine territory, David became reckless in his judgment and behavior.
It says that:
10 When Achish asked, “Where did you go raiding today?” David would say, “Against the Negev of Judah” or “Against the Negev of Jerahmeel” or “Against the Negev of the Kenites.” 11 He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, “They might inform on us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” And such was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory. 12 Achish trusted David and said to himself, “He has become so obnoxious to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant for life.”
David’s lack of trust in God allowed him to fall right into the hands of the enemy through a false sense of security. David was set to be Achish’s long-term servant, yet at the same time, he was losing his rightful place to become king. And just like Achish wanted David to be his servant for life, the enemy wants you to turn away from God so you can be in spiritual bondage for life! He wants you to lose your faith and seek out worldly measures to solve your problems, which will ensnare you into sin and keep you away from your promises. Most importantly, this often happens right before the LORD releases that big breakthrough which opens the door to your destiny. So, it is essential that we cling to the HOLY spirit (through prayer, fasting, praise and worship) to keep the enemy from gaining a foothold into our destiny like he tried to do with David.
To continue further, in 1 Samuel 29:2-9, David is preparing to go into battle with the Philistines against Israel, but by the hand of God, David is rejected by the Philistine army.
Verses 2-9 say:
2 As the Philistine rulers marched with their units of hundreds and thousands, David and his men were marching at the rear with Achish. 3 The commanders of the Philistines asked, “What about these Hebrews?”Achish replied, “Is this not David, who was an officer of Saul king of Israel? He has already been with me for over a year, and from the day he left Saul until now, I have found no fault in him.”
4 But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master’s favor than by taking the heads of our own men? 5 Isn’t this the David they sang about in their dances:
“‘Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands’?”
6 So Achish called David and said to him, “As surely as the Lord lives, you have been reliable, and I would be pleased to have you serve with me in the army. From the day you came to me until today, I have found no fault in you, but the rulers don’t approve of you. 7 Now turn back and go in peace; do nothing to displease the Philistine rulers.”
8 “But what have I done?” asked David. “What have you found against your servant from the day I came to you until now? Why can’t I go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”
9 Achish answered, “I know that you have been as pleasing in my eyes as an angel of God; nevertheless, the Philistine commanders have said, ‘He must not go up with us into battle.’”
Based upon those verses, I believe that the spirit of the LORD stirred up a feeling of distrust in the Philistines towards David to keep him from destroying his promise. The Philistines were already threatened by David because he had killed Goliath, which allowed the Israelites to gain victory over them. And with that, it would not be wise to have a known enemy join your army, just as much as it is not sensible for someone to turn against his or her own brethren—which is what David had done in hopes to save himself. Fortunately, although David had stepped outside of the will of God to speed up the process of escaping King Saul, God still showed mercy to David and saved him from getting into deeper trouble.
Largely, at times, the opposition can get so unbearable that you may start to create your own plans to make the problems go away. This happens when you begin to lose faith, believing that God’s promises will not come to past. Nevertheless, what many of us fail to realize is that moving ahead of God’s will and timing will eventually make things worse. Therefore, we must remain steadfast and obedient to the will of the LORD, despite the opposition, to keep us on the path to victory.
All in all…
Receiving a prophetic word or revelation of promise is a wonderful blessing that is used to bring glory to the kingdom of God. It is truly comforting, knowing that the LORD loves us so much and has great plans for our lives. However, with great promises come trials that test our faith in God’s word. Specifically, opposition, which may suddenly appear through certain circumstances or by those closest to us, can leave us feeling confused and unworthy of our promises. It may lead us to question whether we actually heard from the LORD at all. Truly, the enemy is hoping that the opposition will convince us to lose faith in what God has spoken so that we don’t fully stand in our authority. Additionally, sometimes, the spirit of fear creeps in, like in the example with David, blinding us into making decisions that hinder the path to our destinies. This is how the enemy gets us to self-destruct and destroy the promise by our own hands.
Nonetheless, what is most significant in all of this is not merely the pains of opposition, but more so that the LORD is there to guide us as we endure the battle. God was there the entire time protecting David even when he strayed away into the enemy hands! He is also there for us, showing us His grace and mercy, although we may fall into the trap of doing things in our own strength. For sure, God wants us to lean on Him for understanding even when the battle is too tough for us to handle. Generally, though trials and obstacles may tarry for a little while, God’s word of promise will stand against it all.
Have you experienced a time of opposition before receiving your ‘promise?’ Leave a comment below and share your testimony with us!