Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
Enemies To Success: Skeptics
'Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?' And they took offense at Him.
Mark 6:3 (NAS)
Dream haters and skeptics stand as obstacles on the road to success. God's stars must look beyond them like Bible headliners, including Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, and Jesus. Some of their skeptics became followers; others were left behind.
What are the tactics of skeptics?
1) Belittling your stature: 'Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary...' (Mark 6:3)? By telling you that you are a small-town, uneducated, common person who is not qualified to be a star. God says you are royalty, and He loves an underdog. Move on.
2) Calling you bad names: 'He is out of His mind... He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons' (Mark 3:21-22). If Jesus Christ can be called an insane demon by leading citizens, so can we. Do what He did. Move on.
3) Warning you to lay low: 'Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, 'God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to you' ' (Matthew 16:22). Warnings may be well-intentioned, but God says 'Only be strong and of good courage' 11 times. Move on.
4) Tempting you to prove it: 'Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven' (Matthew 16:1). God says do not 'Cast your pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). They won't value your gifts. Move on.
5) Kicking you out: 'When they saw Him, they implored Him to leave their region' (Matthew 8:34). Your special destiny will uplift the people around you. Some don't want uplifting. Jesus says, 'Go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet' (Matthew 10:14). Move on.
6) Hurting you: 'And they crucified Him' (Mark 15:24). Pain doesn't get any worse than this, 'But joy comes in the morning' (Psalm 30:5). Hang on. God will lift you off any cross you bear, and you will rise. Forgive your persecutors and believe Him. Move on.
Each child of God destined to become a star on the stages of this world will face dream haters--some close to home, others down the path. God allows them to test, teach, and strengthen you. Consider them part of your workout routine, but don't let skeptics stop you. Move on.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Enemies and Friends To Success series.