Don’t Adapt To Your Situation
Stand firm, and you will win life.
(Luke 21:19 NIV)
In today’s verse, Jesus was telling his disciples what to look for in the end times. He was telling them that there will come a time when people will be seized, persecuted and handed over to the synagogues and put into prison. They will be brought before kings and governors because of His name. But then Jesus goes on to tell them something very important. He tells them what to do when it happens as we see in verses 13-19 (NIV):
13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.
Although you may not be in that exact situation, the instructions remain the same. How many times have you had to stand before people who disagreed with what you were doing for Christ? Who disagreed with your healing process when applying scripture? Who disagreed with you for being honest instead of lying to get more or cover someone? How many times have you had to stand in troubling times with others while trying not to have their situation change you? How many times have those closest to you left your side when you stood up for the truth? We’ve all been there.
Jesus gives us simple instructions. He tells us not to worry on how to defend ourselves beforehand because He will give us the words and wisdom that our adversaries will not be able to resist or contradict. He also tells us to stand firm and we will win life. In the New King James Version of the bible it says “By your patience possess your souls.” When we stand firm in faith and do exactly what God tells us to do, we will keep our souls which means we will have everlasting life. What is an adversary? An adversary is a person, group, or force that opposes or attacks. It is an opponent, enemy or a foe. Spiritually we know our adversary is Satan and we know that Satan can use people, even loved ones and those close to us, to hinder or stop our walk or mission at times. We find an example of this when Jesus informs His disciples that soon He will be suffering many things and be killed and raised up on the third day. Peter, out of love and a lack of spiritual understanding, states in verse 22: “Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But in verse 23 we must take notice of Jesus response:
23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
In reading the gospels, we know that Peter loved the Lord greatly and in this case he was concerned for Jesus and did not want to see anything happen to Him. But Peter wasn’t looking at the situation through spiritual eyes but from a human perspective and when we do this, we will encounter fear and worry. But Jesus, utilizing spiritual wisdom and discernment, saw the situation for what it was…Satan trying to block Him utilizing Peter. Jesus is all about doing the will of God and Satan will always try to stop us from doing the will of God, even by utilizing those closest to us.
When we encounter anyone trying to stop us from doing the will of God or healing God’s way, we must look at the situation through spiritual eyes. If we don’t, then every person who comes our way will always be an enemy to us. We must look behind the scenes at who is really coming at us, Satan, and pray accordingly, allowing God to take care of the situation or give us the words to respond. In the end, we must continue on and not allow the situation to hinder or stop our walk and our mission. We must not allow the words of others to cause us to adapt to the situation that surrounds us but instead rise above it and we can only do that by turning to God and standing firm in faith. To adapt means to adjust ourselves to the condition or environment. In life, there are some environments we should adapt to, but there are some we shouldn’t. We must not allow ourselves to adapt to a negative environment or we will become negative. To leave that environment would seem like a good answer, and sometimes it is, but if we never learn to walk through that environment or situation and learn how to resolve issues God’s way, then we will continuously end up in that same type of situation or environment no matter where we go until we learn how to get through it. In order to walk through it without becoming like it we must have a close relationship with Jesus. This means we must be in prayer, reading His Word and applying the Word to our lives and situations. Remember, not everyone will understand why you are choosing to do opposite of what the world tells you to do. Godly wisdom and worldly wisdom are two different things. We see in James 3:13-18 it states the following:
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
Take a moment to examine your life and any situation you are facing. Are you adapting to it or are you walking through it with Jesus.