I can remember a time when 3 friends and I decided a camping trip was in order. So, we packed our stuff, strapped canoes to the tops of our cars, & headed off to Lows Lake.
We arrived, threw our gear in the 2 canoes and shoved off to the wild blue yonder.
Oh the scenes were gorgeous! The sun was now at its' peak, the trees were beautiful, the water was sparkling, & the Adirondack air was refreshing.
But then, we went through the channel & hit the open lake. We encountered something.
We encountered: RESISTANCE!
You see, we encountered a pretty strong headwind, which made our seasoned paddling efforts quite the struggle! What was supposed to be a two-hour canoe trip doubled in time and it took us four hours. Every stroke was only half effective as it could be.
When we finally arrived at our campsite, we quickly set up our tents, put our bear bags up away from our site & began hiking.
Our goal for that day was to not just set up camp, but to summit the small mountain we were camping in the shadow of.
Our assent was hurried.
We were losing precious daylight. As we finally reached the summit, emerging from the forest we set on the edge of the precipice, feet hanging over, and simply taking it all in!
The view was absolutely worth it!
Looking now down upon the serenity of the lake we'd just canoed and watching the sunset from this majestic height, I realized something:
All the "wind" resistance, every struggling stroke of the paddle, every hurried step up the mountain was worth the beauty of what we were now seeing!
I learned something in that moment:
ANYTHING THAT IS WORTH IT IN LIFE DOES NOT COME EASY!
TO ANYONE MOVING FORWARD THERE IS ALSO THE REALITY OF RESISTANCE.
Resistance to forward motion is not outside of God will for our lives. If handled correctly, resistance can actually help to propel you forward in the ministry God has called you to!
Let's look at this a bit further from Matthew 4...It's the story of when Jesus Himself was faced with resistance.
Matthew 4:1 | Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Did you catch that?
Jesus was led...to be tempted. Jesus was led right into something that was going to resist His forward motion.
The Father actually led the Son to a place where His identity and His call would be resisted.
You see God is not afraid of resistance & He is not afraid of the resistance we face while following Him. He actually uses it to build spiritual muscles in our lives!
And so we find Jesus' divinity, His humanity, and His eternity being resisted by the enemy in the wilderness.
Yet He remained focused...
FOCUS IS THE ABILITY TO NOT ALLOW DISTRACTIONS TO HOLD YOUR ATTENTION AND TO PUSH BACK ON ANY RESISTANCE THAT KEEPS YOU FROM YOUR GOAL!
It's the ability to not allow distractions to hold your attention and to push back on any resistance that keeps you from God's will for your life.
Activity is not necessarily productivity.
Activity is not necessarily accomplishment. Too many times, too much activity in my life has occurred because I've allowed myself to be distracted.
It's taken me 34 years of my life to understand this!
Imagine if Jesus gave in to the distractions that were placed in front of Him by Satan...
He would have failed at accomplishing the Father's divine plan for not only Himself, but for all of humanity!
I want to encourage you to take some time to pray and think about if there are any distractions that may be keeping you from where God wants you to be. Focus doesn't just happen you have to fight for it!
Craig Campbell is the Lead Pastor of Faith Tabernacle Church, which is located in his hometown of Lockport, NY. He has been serving the local church for more than eleven years in different capacities such as youth ministry, worship ministry, young adult ministry, and more. He and his wife Jennie have four amazing kids whose names are Leland, Hudson, Adalyn, and Lillian.