I have the tendency to think life will go smoothly when I’m following God’s will. The truth is that’s very rarely the case in reality. There are numerous examples in the Bible that make it pretty clear that even when you are obedient, you should expect spiritual resistance.
A Story of Spiritual Oppression
Daniel was doing his best to live a Godly life and serve faithfully. As a result, he produced outstanding results working as an administrator for King Darius. This made some of his co-workers jealous. So, they concocted a plan to get him into BIG trouble.
So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.” Daniel 6:6-7 NIV
The other administrators knew Daniel was very devout in his faith. They used this against him. They tricked the king into issuing a new decree that would make Daniel an outlaw for practicing his faith. Daniel met spiritual resistance despite the fact that he’d been doing everything right.
What did Daniel do? Did he crumble under the pressure and opposition? Did he give in to the threat of persecution? Did he go on a rant about how unfair God was being to him?
No! Daniel did none of these things. As the verse below states, Daniel just kept calmly and obediently following God like he’d always done.
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Daniel 6:10 NIV
In the face of steep spiritual resistance, nothing changed. Daniel kept giving thanks for all the ways God had already blessed his life. He simply ignored the resistance and went on with his life.
Learning to Handle Spiritual Resistance
I could learn some things from Daniel. Trust. Faith. Patience. Obedience. Just to name a few. I could also learn to expect spiritual resistance and to not be so shocked when I encounter it in various forms. God has saved me from the proverbial lion’s den on many occasions. I need to keep calm and trust in His sovereignty.