When I’m in resistance I make life’s pain into suffering. Yes, pain’s increased and made into suffering by my resistance. So what does this entail? Everything? This is a hard word, and nobody wants to hear it. My hope is that this post brings encouragement to weary souls fighting the wrong fight.
Here’s an arena where this can be seen. Resist not the evil men do to you (Matthew 5:39). Why on earth would Jesus make the statement, Do Not Resist an Evil Person? It’s counter-intuitive to our need to thrive and survive. How could He ask me to not resist? Because of this: God knows the fruit of my resistance. He knows that if I resist, I’ll only increase the levels of my pain, working them into suffering. His attempt is to lessen my pain, not increase it.
Do not resist the evil
Every time that I have resisted ill treatment, I’ve only prolonged pain and increased my suffering. When the unjust action of evil men meets my resistance, the result is bitterness and rage. I’ve put myself in torment, which can linger for years. And what’s more, I’m robbed of the blessing hidden in the encounter. Yes, God blesses the nonresistant one. Actually, my nonresistance can make me rich but this will go against every natural instinct I have.
I’m in a fallen world and I’m not getting out of here without pain. People will mock me, slander me, disagree with and misunderstand me. If I did everything perfectly, this still would be the case. Even Jesus Christ was murdered. The most perfect man to walk our earth, the Son of God, was crucified by His very own creation! The people He loved and came to save killed Him, and He never resisted. Though He taught and educated, confronted and challenged, He never resisted evil men. Even at His own crucifixion, Christ refused to resist.
Christ Had No Resistance
In Gethsemane, Jesus bowed rather than resist the will of His Father. I can assure you that even as painful as the cross was, if He had resisted, it would’ve multiplied the pain. Resistance just increases pain!
I heard a message by Gene Edwards about being crucified by Christians. In it he makes the point that a crucifixion is not a crucifixion if the one being crucified speaks out in their defense. Wow! So this means that martyrdom must be met with silence or it is just murder. Christ went to the cross as a lamb—silent. This is the very nature of a martyr. Martyrdom cannot be met with self-defense or resistance.
And though we may never be nailed to a wooden cross, this relates to our personal daily crosses as well. Again, if I resist, I just increase the pain to suffering. There is no nobility in suffering, especially if it’s just because I’m pushing back against the pain of my cross. The noble one follows the Lamb wherever He goes. And this is to nonresistance.
Everywhere in my life that I’ve resisted, it’s ended in my torment. God’s not allowing pain for pain’s sake; the fruit of most pain is for blessing. In actuality, my resistance ends up working against my blessing. All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). If I’m in resistance, I will also be resisting His purpose and the blessing that He wishes to award me. It is not to smart to miss my blessings by attempting to avoid pain. As I said, the pain is inevitable but to resist just robs me of the payoff and replaces it with suffering.
Matthew 5:39 Phillips
“You have heard that it used to be said ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’, but I tell you, do not resist the evil man who wants to harm you.
It’s the Holy Spirit that puts the ‘ask’ in us, & He will see it through. To move with Him, we gaze; not feel or think or bristle stiff, on the prickly path we didn’t know we asked for. Love in the face of resistance…only Christ can live this in us, & He does. We receive the Love He Is & Gives, it’s never a ‘copy’, it’s heaven sent. The Lord, has an explicit word & way, given in purpose..Love’s desire is that deep. Explicit, to know we have met God’s Love. He has a vessel & a pouring…surrender follows… Read more »
Woe to the soul that depends on the flesh. (This part is not easy at all!!!)
Woe to the flesh that depends on the soul. (I’m sure nobody wants this).
Thank you all for your comments.
Thank you so much for commenting Matthew! For sure you are correct. Bless you.
THIS IS WHAT I SEE:
Resistance is the manifestation of my judgment.
Resistance (defiance or defense) is a work of my flesh. When I, by my righteousness (my rights) execute judgment (resistance) toward another, I stand in the place of God; I stand as an obstruction to God’s purpose, His perfect judgment.
Only as I am abiding in Christ, fully secure in Him, have I His grace to silence and subdue my own flesh.
John, I would like to hear some thoughts on the difference between being a “victim” and the non-resistance that Christ is asking of us. I find that the message of surrender, love, submission, and non-resistance is often entangled with the idea that we are not suppose to be victims. One thing the Lord spoke to me years ago is that “a victim cannot lay down their life because they do not yet know who they are” because they are in the bondage of fear and lies, but once we know we can freely choose to lay it down in love.… Read more »
I am finding that the power of His resurrection, all that is the gift of knowing His love and glory is found only in the non-resistance. The power to overcome is “faith working through love”. Love is in part, “not seeking our own”.
Bendiciones para todo Sulamita.Nuetro Señor va a la Cruz, porque Su Padre así lo dispuso,yo acepto todo lo que mi Dios me manda o permite, ahora con Gozo,pero lo que viene del maligno o de mi carne, pido a mi Señor discernimiento, para saber por Su Revelación, que permito o resisto. Amén.
A translation would be: Blessings to every Shulamite. Our Lord goes to the Cross, for His Father set it this way. I accept everything my God sends or permits, now with joy. But those things coming from evil or my flesh, I ask my Lord discernment to know through His Revelation what I should permit or resist. Amen
…martyrdom must be met with silence or it is just murder – !!!!!!!!
Beside martyrdom – I pray I’ll get at least a glimpse of the unfathomable Being He wants to be in us to create THIS our new nature!
This DOES go against every natural instinct!! HOW can you not resist a man that wants to harm you!!? (I have often thought about this…) But it really IS the wrong fight!! Because it’s against flesh and blood! And it IS completely exhausting because of all the suffering… So pain comes from life, suffering comes from my coices. And because Jesus didn’t resist, He was able to see His Father in every circumstance of pain. Does obedience equal nonresistance? It IS a choice, isn’t it?!!… But this sentence really caught my attention: “There is no nobility in suffering, especially if… Read more »
There are two battles going on within each of us the Spiritual one and the carnal one. If we will just remember to let Christ fight our spiritual ones and keep ourselves out of His way those battles will bring us peace that surpassth all understanding.
Bless you “Layman Lee”.
I have no excuse to say I don’t “get it”, to resist not the evil that men do to me, John, you have made it so simple. Bless You, for I don’t want to miss any blessing that the LORD has for me not have His light shinning out for
those in my path.
So say a hearty AMEN to Paul comments.
Wow, John, does this ever resonate, for just recently I have found myself resisting past pain as the result of false allegations that came against me. What a revelation of truth today, which beautifully complements Martha’s Word. Resistance is in some ways “self preservation”, we want to protect our lives; but it’s “loving darkness” when we do. Jesus never called us to love our lives, never to preserve or protect our lives by resisting evil, but to lay them down in death. And to do so SILENTLY! Ouch…that hit me right between the eyes! You folk at Shulamite surely lay… Read more »
Thank you… joining bridges, rebuilding walls, passing through.