[POD] #2: Resistance is futile. And sometimes fatal.
Prompt: When was the last time you tried to do something that triggered Resistance? What did that look like? How does it feel to acknowledge this? To feel Resistance captured in words?
Resistance, at times I face it weekly. I am not sure why. Most people who know me think I will say whatever I think, whenever the feeling rises. Yes, that can be true, yet there are times I feel completely frozen. Fear and insecurity replace the brash confidence that so easily defines me. Church, which is usually my safety place, is the first place I would identify this resistance.
I immediately face resistance as my heart quickens to share – a prayer, a word, a revelation. My first response is usually procrastination. If I can put off action until this feeling passes, it must be okay. Sometimes the feeling will resurface and I quickly try to tuck it away again. If I must share, writing is an easier avenue to avoid the vulnerability of putting myself out there. Putting pen to paper or fingers to the keys, I can share the pent-up words that so desperately want to escape my lips or are coursing through my head.
Even as I give in to the initial idea that I will surrender in obedience to share what I have on my heart, self-doubt rises. Questions race through my mind. What gives me the right to speak? What if I’m way off from where others are? What if the pastor is like “Where did that come from? You think you’re a Christian.” What if the words are just my opinion?
I shared this with a spiritual mentor in my church. Her words, spoken in love, challenge me to step out. She told me “There will come a time when nothing will stand in the way of sharing what God has put inside of you. Do not give way to fear there is no fear in you because there is no fear in Him that lives in you. People need to desperately hear what God has placed inside of you. ”
I went on to share my concerns with her that some of the things I feel led to share, I’m concerned that people will think It is my personal motive, not God. She said something along the lines of “It is selfish and self-centered for you to think you can’t speak it out because it is really between God and those who He is speaking to through you. God’s thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” What she told me really convicted me.
My mind quickly went back to one of the first prayer meetings I went to at my church a few years back. There was a time for us to pray individually and then to come together and pray out loud anything God laid on our heart. As I was praying, I felt such a burden that I couldn’t help but cry out for forgiveness. The words flowed as I prayed sitting in the third seat of the row toward the back of the church, where I slid into when I arrived. We were praying for an awakening, and I just felt in my spirit repentance needed to come first. My heart was torn for the ground that the enemy has taken in our community, and for the ground that we as Christian’s have given to Satan by not standing our ground. I just prayed for repentance personally, corporately, and regionally. It burned inside of me as I prayed, as if it had to get out. I had experienced that overwhelming burden a few other times over the years, but was never in a corporate prayer meeting, just praying alone or at the altar.
As the individual prayer time came to a close, we gathered in the entrance of the church to pray corporately. Mostly leaders and pastors were there, so I felt rather small almost the spiritual people surrounding me. I was a married woman, in a divided household, and most of our children were not attending church – preferring work to worship. I definitely did not feel I had a voice. They were all praying for revival all I could hear was the screaming voice inside my mind saying “Revival can’t come until we repent.”
That fear that overcame me, is one I have come to know quite well since that time. I couldn’t stand still, but my lips we sealed shut, I could barely mutter amen when they were all finished praying. It would be much later when that same group of leaders would pray out the need for repentance.
I quickly skirted out the door, only to be caught by the spiritual mentor. She said “You had something didn’t you.” I was honest and told her I did, she encouraged me in the future to pray it out with the group.
It would be some time before I would listen to that advice. I still struggle with the resistance to release what is inside of me. Some days are easier that others. I find that having shared my struggle with a few others, they hold me accountable when they see the signs of resistance.
It is freeing to know that resistance is a choice. In the end resistance is futile. It stops the growth that is so desperately needed. Without growth, over time, resistance can be fatal.
This post is prompted by Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders.