As Christians we may not realize, or perhaps thought has ever entered our minds. At times, instead of being kingdom people, we become obstacles (stumbling blocks) in his kingdom agenda. Have you ever found yourself fighting against God?
We know from Scripture that Satan’s job has always been to thwart God’s plan; he would set out traps and would constantly be in opposition to God. Satan’s attacks are clearly depicted in Scripture. Let me show you three ways in which Satan opposes Jesus even today.
Through persecution Acts 5:17-42
Persecution came about because the religious leaders of the day became jealous of the disciples of Jesus. These religious zealots intended to put a stop to the preaching of the gospel. The apostles were arrested and suffered pain for the name of Jesus, but persecution did not stop them from proclaiming the good news of Jesus. Satan would use this tactic to intimidate God’s people from doing God’s work.
Through suggesting a different alternative. Matt.4:1-10
This is how temptation works; a temptation is a suggestion to go against God’s mission and purpose in your life. Satan tempted Jesus; offering him a different alternative attempting to stop him from his mission. Sometimes the tempter will place great suggestions at your table; however, if these suggestions don’t support God’s kingdom will, then they must be rejected.
Through self-centered perspectives. Matt.16:21-23
When Jesus openly revealed to his apostles what would await him in Jerusalem, they were saddened to hear such devastating news. What Jesus told them, did not match their expectations. It crushed their dreams and their messianic hope. This is why we see Peter taking Jesus aside to rebuke him. Peter thought Jesus needed to refocus his perspective or retrieve his statement. Nevertheless, Jesus recognized Satan’s voice behind Peter’s demands. Jesus said to Peter “Get behind me Satan, you are a stumbling block to me for you have in mind the things of men, not the things of God.” In other words, Jesus was saying to Peter that his perspective wasn’t God-centered, but self-centered. Peter did not have God’s agenda in mind, but his own agenda. There may be a great number of people opposing Jesus with their self-centered perspectives today and they don’t even know it. When your plan and purpose go against God’s intended plan, then you become a stumbling block in his kingdom.
When the church mission becomes other than what Jesus intended, then the church too becomes a stumbling block in his kingdom. Let us always examine our motivation and the reason we do things so we don’t find ourselves on the wrong team, in opposition to Jesus.