And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. (Acts 16:16-18)~ Those who do good by drawing others to God and away from sin, may expect to be reviled as troublers of the world. A person who walks in confidence of God endures taunting and persecution because they are bold enough to say they believe. While they teach men to fear God, to believe in Christ, to forsake sin, and to live godly lives, they will be accused by the world of teaching bad customs. They will be put on the stage of society as strange or eccentric or accused of being some obscure radical. Their validity as a Christian will be put under the microscope and every fiber of their being tested for worldly exposure. It’s as if they must be as pure as Christ Himself to carry any level of trustworthiness.
Why is it that a person that outwardly expresses their love for Jesus is viewed as some ‘Jesus freak’; weirdo or strange being? Why is it that when we choose to differ our mindset than the typical man of the world, people are quick to point out that we are different and don’t stand with “the” crowd? Christ warned us of this very thing – that the world would hate us because of Him. We know the ‘world’ is at enmity with God – meaning those who are ‘friendly’ to the worldly way ultimately turn against the Godly way – because these two ‘ways’ are in conflict to each other. Satan is the god of the ‘worldly’ way so it’s guaranteed that your commitment to Christ always comes under persecution in the world. This is a sign that you are doing what God wants you to do. You are a threat to the enemy’s purpose.
Here’s what’s most interesting: those that persecute you many times believe what you believe but they are more afraid of looking like they stand with you than with the popular crowd. Their persecution of you is more about them than it is about you. Even Satan, though the father of lies, will declare the most important truths, when they can thereby serve his purposes. You can’t let this deter you. These circumstances are the enemy trying to manipulate and disorient you and make you question the very Word that is in you. If he can disconnect you from your commitment he will even take people that love you and use them against you. Stand your ground…don’t be passive… neither give place to the devil… but rebuke that evil and confront it head on. God will strengthen your commitment even though you’re under persecution! Resist the devil and he will flee from you!