Daily Devotional

Expect Opposition

"When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith." Acts 13:6-8

How do you feel about opposition? I'm not sure if you heard this story before but in elementary school one of my favorite days of the year was field day. It was a day in which we would compete in a variety of field events in an attempt to earn ribbons for placing in the top three of each event. Of all the events, my favorite was the obstacle course. I don't know why but there was something about the challenge of the obstacle course that I looked forward to, dare I say embraced. And yet, that's not how we treat obstacles or opposition in our own lives. Why is that?

In today's passage, we see Paul and Barnabas headed across the island declaring the message to anyone who would listen, until they ran into a false prophet Bar-Jesus. He was an attendant to the Roman proconsul who wanted to hear the word of God. However, the sorcerer did not want that to happen. He wanted to turn the proconsul away from the gospel message and this should not surprise us.

Some may ask, "Didn't God send them on this mission?" The answer to that is, yes. "Well then why are they dealing with opposition and obstacles," one may also ask. The answer is simple. Just because God guides us to share the gospel, doesn't mean we should expect the road to be free of opposition. One of the reasons is that the gospel is by nature divisive. Upon hearing the gospel people must accept: 1) they are sinners, dead in their sin. 2) That they cannot do anything to change this condition. 3) That Jesus loves them enough to die in their place, though they don't deserve it. 4) That Jesus rose from the dead. These are difficult truths, but they are an all-or-nothing proposition.

So I like to ask the question, is it an obstacle course or an obstacle curse? If we truly believe the truth of the gospel, then we should embrace opposition. Not necessarily because we are so prepared that nothing can stop us but rather because our confidence comes from the power of the message we proclaim. If we believe in the truth of the gospel, we will be witnesses to the power of God through that message.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Posted in
Tagged with