Luke 12:1-7 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the rooftops. “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Opposition shows what you’re made of.
“What’s it made of?” I’m one of those inquisitive type people who likes to ask random questions and learn random facts. Recently, I was somewhere in a conversation about the stuff in my recycling bin that I lug out to the street each week, wondering where it actually goes, so I had to look it up. And what I found was that many things I use are made up of the old things. Did you know-- the polyester lining in many coats and sleeping bags is made from old plastic bottles, with some containing as much as 150 containers’ worth of material. Did you know-- the paper-ish containers that hold strawberries or eggs are often made from old newspapers. Did you know-- the plastic in toothbrush handles (not bristles) is sometimes made of the plastic of recycled yogurt cups.
We often don't know the truth of what things are made of until we look deeper.
Sometimes our lives are like that. It’s usually not things like ease and comfort but rather conflict and opposition that brings out what’s really deep within us. The pressure of opposition shows what’s really at our core, what we’re really after, what we’re really made of. Sometimes it’s something good that we didn’t know was there—like true love, determination, hope, or a true call from God. But other times opposition brings out what we would rather hide, the dark side of our personality, our desire, our intent. Jesus warned his disciples about the Pharisees who would come to oppose his work and their work. He warned them that tucked deep beneath their religious practices was not a spirit of truth or a seeking of God’s kingdom but rather a spirit of pride more interested in franchising their own kingdom. He shared with his disciples the simple fact that these hidden things eventually would come to the surface, to the light. And the opposition of the Pharisees would test the disciples; would their opposition bring out fear or faith? The answer would be whatever was deep inside them.
Opposition is one of the most clarifying forces we can encounter, especially in our walk as disciples of Jesus. It can bring out the best in us or the worst. It is always revealing. It provides us the opportunity to turn back to Jesus, to discover what we’re really about. It lets us see what sin might be lurking deep and exposes what repentance we might need to seek. It is not something to be feared but rather an opportunity for God to continue to mold us and direct us to his purposes above our own.
After all, God wastes nothing.
On Today's Road: Whether external or internal, direct or indirect, what opposition are you facing? What is it bringing out in you? What does God want to show you as you face it?