When movements start to be successful, one of the first things people are faced with is how to deal with problems. Learning how to deal with difficulties biblically is vital in moving forward with whatever God has called you to do. The apostles had some challenges too.
“So, when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.” (Act 4:21, NKJV)
Here, they were proclaiming the gospel, but the city leaders were telling them to stop.
In anything that we do, whether ministry, business, education or whatever and we are aiming for success, there is always a problem that comes up. We will always be faced with a problem that we have to learn how to defeat. It’s either fight or flight. Do we now run from what God has called us to do because of the challenges we face? No. In our case study (the Acts of the Apostles), the apostles did not stop doing what the Lord told them to do.
How then do we fight? How do you continue moving forward without stopping?
There is a way the Bible tells us to fight. Let us examine them
Ask God for boldness
Peter’s response to the persecution was for boldness to go even stronger.
“Now, Lord, look on their threats and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word… And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” (Act 4:29-31, NKJV)
When problems try and attack you, you have to realize that your only response when it comes to being successful is not backing off but to keep moving forward faster, harder, more strategically and more prayerfully with the Holy Spirit. So, hold your head high. Don’t quit; get even bolder with prayers and action with faith.
If we run every time problems come up, we are never going to be successful in our lives.
To learn how to be successful, we have to take the problems and turn them into open doors.
Learn to become bold and become stronger
Make the Enemy Flee
When the enemy attacks you one way make him flee in seven ways.
“The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.” (Deuteronomy 28:7, NKJV)
If the devil is trying to give you problems in a way, look for seven ways to defeat him. Know that God has promised to fight for you. You only have to do your part. Turn your problems into opportunities. I will like to share a story to bolster this.
The public schools where we preached the gospel had a hundred thousand people give their lives to Christ were actually not handed to us; we did not get them on a platter of gold. At first, we were going to start with two public schools and we had 60 to 70 missionaries show up, and our work should have been easy with the numbers, but in one of the schools, we were turned away. It was said that we did not have some necessary papers. And we had already set things up and spent a lot bringing people into the country. Humanly speaking, it was frustrating.
So, we had this whole lot of people living in a single house, and issues kept coming up with the house. There were moths, and then the plumbing in that part of the city had problems; the septic tank kept blowing up and people had to be rushed to the hospital over and over again. The living conditions were appalling for the first seven days. Our missionaries were getting sick and getting in and out of the emergency room.
The school turned us away, so we had up to about 60 missionaries who did not know where to go. Everything we had fixed up in the last four months, we now had to fix up in the next four days. So, there was problem after problem, and it put us in a position where we really wanted to quit. Everybody wanted to quit, but because of what the Bible said about what we do with problems, we had to turn this one problem into seven opportunities. So, instead of going after that one public school, we set the rest of our time going after seven other schools that would want to see the transformation with their students. In the end, what happened after a lot of prayers, hope, and boldness was that the school that turned us away accepted us for a year and we got five other public schools for a year. We eventually got seven schools in all! So instead of about 1,000 people that we envisaged, we got about 10,000 people who actually wanted to take part in our programme.
You can apply this principle to anything in your life.
When you have a problem, you should learn to take that problem and turn it into seven open doors.
Slaying 500 Pound Lions
The Lion Chaser’s Manifesto by Mark Batterson (Read his book here)
David was one of the mighty kings of Israel and he had a particular mighty warrior; Benaiah. In 2 Samuel 23:20, NKJV, he was described this way:
“Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day.”
What can be seen here was that there was a 500-pound problem chasing Benaiah. When you have a 500-pound problem, you can run away but what we see here was Benaiah in the Bible, who on a snowy day, not even a summer day, instead of running away from the lion, chased it. He pursued his 500-pound problem on a snowy day into a pit. And he was the only one that came outside of that pit. The lion didn’t. He killed the lion inside that pit. This is a testimony of what we should be doing with our problems.
We are supposed to be boldly going after our problems, killing them, finding solutions and turning them into open doors.
We have to be able to have dreams that are so big that they are destined to fail unless God breaks through.
This is one essential thing that we have to learn when we are going after movements. Movements are bound to be challenging and we should be prepared for those challenges. We can even start to get ready before the challenges come. Envisage them and plan ahead so that when they eventually come, you won’t have to back away.
We can’t minimize what we are supposed to be doing after a problem hits us; we are supposed to maximize what we are supposed to be doing with the Lord after a problem hit us instead of backing away.
Basically, when a problem comes, our natural tendency is to lower the bar to survive. Our response instead should be to look at the goal ahead of us, and see how we can achieve it even faster, smarter, and better, despite the obstacles in front of us. Have a warrior’s attitude. Remember the common cliché ‘Winners never quit. Quitters never win.’ Don’t back down when you get hit but fight harder. If you get knocked down, get up and learn how to do it better. Fight again and win, even if you have to do it over and over again.
- Identify big faith size goals in your life. You should have goals so big that God has to step in to finish them up. If all you have are small goals, you can try multiplying those small goals by 100 and make that resultant goal your new goal. With the help of the Holy Spirit (remember that He has unlimited human resources, skill and limitless resources), your big goals are achievable. Think of achieving your goals from the point of giant faith and not overwhelming doubt.
- Identify the obstacles and face them head-on. The next thing after identifying your goals is to know what barriers are stopping you from getting there; financial, intellectual, location etc., and work out a way of sorting them. Break them down and assess them critically. Think up all the ways your goals may not be executed or successful. Create a plan of execution for them and take them up. Take it through a short term, see what would take it apart and find a solution for it. Remind yourself that God made you as a lion chaser, and not a lion’s prey. So, when 500-pound lions come at you, always know that the Lord has anointed you to make them run for their lives.
Find the 500-pound problem you have and learn how to solve it.
- Have a recall. Think back to your past to a problem you had and how you dealt with it. Did you meditate on it, pray about it, analyze it, and ask yourself questions about the problem would be solved? What was your response to that problem? If your natural response was not to turn it into opportunities, then you have to ask yourself, what do you have to change about your reactions to problems such that you transform them into opportunities?
Make an outline of how you will deal with that problem (if it comes up in the future), and that will make you to be better prepared for successes in your life.
What you believe matters
Do we actually believe that as disciples of Jesus, He has made us for success and that He has transformed us into His own so that we can make a difference in the lives of people around us?
If we do not believe that we are the people to help others but instead that we are people to be helped or victims, then we would not walk in the fullness that God called us to.
We are to impact society with our godliness and righteousness and not be impacted by the negative things going on in society.