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A little sandpaper moment

Opponents exist in all arenas of life - whether on the playing field at a ballgame, in the market place, in the school yard, or even on the grocery store aisles - they are there! We cannot escape them, nor should we just stand in place and allow them free-rein. An opponent is just someone who is on the opposite side of where we are at that moment - mentally, spiritually, or physically. The 'function' of the opponents in life is to act as the 'antagonist' that drives us into action, but so many times we choose to idle in neutral when faced with the antagonist. God's word to us today is to face that block put in your way, or frustration repeatedly encountered in a new way - with is grace and wisdom!

Don’t be paralyzed in any way by what your opponents are doing. Your steadfast faith in the face of opposition is a sign that they are doomed and that you have been graced with God’s salvation. (Philippians 1:28)

We might first think about what the opposite of an opponent is to us - a friend or an ally. I have lots of 'friends' in life that sometimes function as opponents in a way. They aren't really on opposite sides of the field from me, but they are acting as 'antagonists' - moving me into action, getting me to think differently about a circumstance that has blocked my creativity, or challenging me to move from where I have been focused for way too long. Antagonists are not always bad - but freezing up when faced by one is not going to help us at all.

Remain steadfastly fixed in place when it comes to your faith and trust in Jesus. This is the one thing we can 'anchor' on when challenges come our way, but even an anchor doesn't mean we are 'paralyzed'. Ever observe an anchored boat? It bobs freely in the waters and even moves slightly as the waters ebb and flow. The anchor merely allows the boat to remain in position. If our anchor is Christ, no matter what opposition comes our way, we can face it secured in a 'fixed and firm' position. We won't get carried away and wrapped up in things that will destroy us.

What happens when we face opposition head on? I think there is something that happens similar to sandpaper against the wood - little by little the wood begins to take on a new image - the grain begins to be exposed and refined until that wood begins to reveal a thing of beauty. The sandpaper was needed to reveal the beauty within. The finishing of the wood is accomplished by lots and lots of opposition! The finishing of our faith isn't going to be any different, my friends! Just sayin....

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