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RESISTANCE

CHAPTER 9

Resistance is like sitting on a stove: the longer you do it, the hotter you get.

Resistance is like poison ivy: the more you scratch it, the more you have.

Thought: Resisting evil directed at you supports it.

Word: Matt. 5:39: "But I say unto you that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."

Conclusion: When we allow the evil that is perpetrated against us "to be," the power of it will disappear.

Resistance is what we do when we perceive a threat to our personal survival. Life, for most people, is about resistance. We resist the Russians, the tax collectors, and the kids. We tend to perceive evil at every level. This may be so, but evil gains its power from our resistance. When we resist, we acknowledge the substance of the threat. Resistance does not only take the form of open warfare, but also fear. A man on the run acknowledges the threat of the thing which he resists.

From time to time, we may be faced with a barking dog. Give it a test. You may run from him in fear, or you may choose to fight him. It has been proven most often that to ignore him gets the most satisfactory results. Most often the something claiming authority over us will disappear if we simply allow it to be.

A young woman told me of an instance where she was moving on a house to a piece of property. She had a building permit and it was good for ninety days. Circumstances had caused her to leave the house unfinished for almost two years. When the building inspector came by to investigate, he was livid with rage. He screamed and threatened and accused. This young lady simply took one step back and gave him room to do what he felt he needed to do. After he was finished with his tirade, she simply and quietly explained how it was that the house was still there and her plans to remedy the situation. That took care of it. In fact, the inspector showed her how she might lower her costs of construction and in a real sense, he became her adviser. If she had gone into resistance, you might suppose what would have happened.

When Jesus said, "resist not evil," He was not suggesting a good deed approach to life, He was simply showing us how life would work for us. Matt. 5:39-42: "...Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." In each instance here mentioned, the circumstances indicate that the one asking from us would be those who believed they were entitled to what was asked. When a man believes, he is entitled to what he is asking for; Jesus is saying, do not resist him.

It may be asked at this time, what about rape? What about incest? Should the person involved just do nothing and allow it to happen? We will find our answer for that as for everything else in the life of Jesus. "And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way." Luke 4:28-30. Did you notice all the resistance? Did Jesus pick up rocks to throw at them? Did He curse and swear? Jesus did not resist, neither did He allow them to cast Him off. So, to the young woman faced with rape, do not resist and do not allow the attacker to violate you. Resistance and fear is authority for the attacker to act. The work of God is your authority for him not to. The attacker of a person has an inward knowledge that what he is doing is wrong and violating law. The word of God in his ear will set that knowledge home to him. Christians need not be violated.

With resistance imagine a 20-ton steel block before you. In your mind's eye, press against that block and resist it about 10 tons worth. Can you imagine what you might look like? Can you see the bloody smear that used to be you? Whatever we resist, it resists back with equal pressure. The word of God should be our tool rather than resistance.

The question now may be heard, "Doesn't the Bible say resist the devil and he will flee from you?" Go ahead; just try to resist the devil and see what happens. Throw a big rock or try to kick him with your shoe, or take him to court, or run him out of town. Did it work? I think the answer to the question is obvious. The Christian form of resistance is an "it is written." That is how Jesus resisted. That is how we may resist evil. If we abide in the word of God, there will be no problem knowing the difference between an "it is written" and a sock in the teeth.

Resistance is the food for ulcers, anger and anxiety. It is the ball of hate that swells within our breast. The word of God will not produce that kind of reaction as we resist evil. The word of God will produce health to our bones and peace to the soul. We all know the difference.

There is a truth about resistance we need to look at in life. The truth has substance; the lie does not. When we know the truth, we know that the lie has no substance but is like a vapor. The Word in time is self-evident and the truth stands like a rock. Ultimately, the world will be destroyed by resistance to what is true and the believer will be translated by acceptance of what is true. Resistance is the catalyst for the fire which will consume the rebellious generation. When a man is given a lie which he is aware of, he is not drawn into resistance about it. The "it is written" clearly demonstrates that there is no power in it, so our resistance is like pushing at a vapor of smoke. When we are given what is true as the word of God says it is, to resist is to push against steel. We will be the only ones who give. The truth will crush those it cannot save. Matt. 21:44: "And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." The truth resisted will eventually grind the world to powder, for the "lie" will not be able to resist it.

Resistance is often the reaction to truth. The interesting fact is that you cannot resist the truth except in theory, for truth is like a huge mountain that fills the whole earth. Go ahead, kick it, bite it, curse at it and see if it changes it any. If we "resist," we only get buried by the mountain. The mountain will not change a whit because we disagreed with it, and neither will truth. Our disagreement or agreement, our resistance or non-resistance will make no difference at all. It remains the same as it was.

The truth is like a train. Would you like life to work for you? Ride the train in the way it is going. Why continue to go in the opposite direction? The alternative of riding the train in the direction it is going, is to have a train wheel pattern on our chest. We go around with disaster and trouble and disease and crisis. The truth is our security; without it, there is no safety. The truth is our fortress, and without it there is no protection, so ride the truth in the direction it goes.

Resistance - Bible Study

1. Don't resist evil.

Matt. 5:39-42: "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."

2. Don't resist the government.

Rom. 13:1,2: Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

3. Don't resist your wife or husband.

1 Cor. 7:3-4: "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife."

Self-Knowledge Resumé

  1. Do I feel like resisting evil that someone has felt about me or am I offended when they question my honesty?
  2. Am I ever resentful when someone wants something different than I want?
  3. Do I feel offended when anyone in my family disagrees with what I want?
  4. Do I feel fear when I receive a letter of audit from the IRS?
  5. Do the governmental laws irritate me or have me looking for ways around them?
  6. Would I be offended if the neighbors piled trash in their front yard?
  7. Am I offended when my husband or wife does not clean up after themselves?
  8. When someone visits my home, do I ever find myself apologizing for the mess?
  9. When someone pops in about dinner time and is known for his freeloading, do I resent that?
  10. Do I resent having people visit and expecting to have a place to sleep?
  11. Do I resent it when others borrow my tools?
  12. Do I resent it when my husband or wife does not help me with my work?
  13. Do I ever feel pressed because there is not enough time?
  14. Do I feel that certain other individuals or my church are not loving enough?

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