Some things in life should come as no surprise. Water is wet. Fire is hot. And guess what? Ice is still cold! Nothing astonishing about any of that.
It also shouldn’t shock you by now that progress will always be met by opposition. If you’re still surprised when resistance comes, you haven’t been paying attention!
When you set your sights on personal revival…when you decide that you’re done with where you are and what you’ve been doing…when you start to rebuild what’s broken in your life and begin to make forward progress again, the enemy is going to become agitated. Don’t just entertain the possibility of opposition—expect it!
Part of preparing for the inevitable resistance to come is understanding the reasons for it. You may not ever fully comprehend why it comes or what a particular person’s reasons for opposing you may be, but at least having a general grasp of human nature when it comes to this can help you move past it quicker. Here are a few reasons to consider:
1) Some people are dependent on your dependency. They rely on other people relying on them. It becomes a security blanket for them. So when you start to grow past counting on them they way you always have, it’s like pulling that blanket away and exposing their insecurities. That doesn’t feel good. And that’s why some people will turn on you when you turn your life around.
2) Some people only want you to go as far as they help you go. They have a “benefactor complex.” Jesus said this about leaders who lord over the people in Luke 22:25. People with this spirit love to talk about what they helped you do. They love to remind you what you couldn’t have done without them. They bask in the shine of your success as long as they feel like they contributed to it. But the moment you move beyond their assistance and start to win on your own terms, the minute they can no longer take credit for your success, they cease to support you.
3) Some people’s sense of self is connected to their ability to control others. Being able to manipulate and manage other people’s lives gives them a twisted sense of satisfaction. That ability becomes so big in their lives that they don’t know who they are once it’s taken away. So they become angry when you progress without their permission and they resent you for moving on a vision that they didn’t approve.
4) Some people just want company in their misery and mediocrity. Quite simply, they don’t want to be the only ones suffering, so they’ll do everything in their power to pull you back down to their level when you start to climb up. It’s easier to drag you back down than to drag themselves up out of their comfort and complacency.
5) Some people are wired to see the world in terms of competition. For some, it’s just a big part of their natural personality; for many, they were taught that way of being through their life experiences. Wherever it comes from, these people tend to perceive anyone else’s progress as a threat to them personally. And any such threat is met with hostility.
No matter the motive, you’ve got to be ready for the fact that someone will challenge your choices…someone will question your calls…someone will disagree with your decisions…someone will pull back when you push ahead.
First of all, you’ve got to be good with going it alone. So many of us never move because we never want to be removed from the pack. Get over that! Know that the higher you intend to climb, the fewer people you can expect to climb with you. The farther you plan to venture from your comfort zone, the fewer folks you can expect to take the journey by your side.
The greater the expedition, the lower the expectation of support.
But climb anyway! Take the journey all the same! And do it knowing that God will supply the right partners for the progress you plan to make. Don’t be so determined to hold hands with people who are holding you down that you can’t grab hold of the hands that are reaching out to lift you up.
Start praying for a greater spirit of trust. Ask God to help you rely on Him more heavily, to grow to the point where He’s really all you need.
Trust His calling. Trust His purpose. Trust the vision that He’s given you.
And trust yourself to be able to complete the journey regardless of who travels with you. Your greatness doesn’t depend on anyone else’s belief in your greatness. It’s in you, and it’s been there all along. Man didn’t give it to you, and man can’t take it away.
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