Vision awakes opposition. If you have a vision rooted in the discovery of your life assignment and you have not encountered any opposition in form of people who seem to question your vision or who just do not believe in the vision, you are either not being passionate enough about your vision or you don’t have a vision!
Jesus definitely had to deal with opposition. He constantly encountered people who did not believe in who he claimed to be or what he came to do.
Nehemiah had to summon courage against men like Sanballat and Tobiah who vehemently opposed his vision to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
David had to deal with opposition beginning from his own brother when he showed interest in conquering Goliath to the glory of God.
Healing preachers like Kenneth Hagin and Oral Roberts constantly faced opposition from western doctors and even the government, as they sought to demonstrate the healing power of Christ.
The list is endless from biblical times to contemporary times. We cannot avoid opposition if we are going to get somewhere. To understand this principle is to recognize people’s influence on our vision. Myles Munroe wrote:
Opposition often proves you are doing something significant with your life.
In other to be able to maximise oppositions to your vision, I believe you must be able to see opposition when it’s coming and then arm yourself to combat it.
Below are four characteristics of people who do not believe in your vision and against whom you must take necessary action if you really want to make impact. They are drawn from Jesus’ conversation with a potential opposition in John 4:10-12
Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”
The woman said, “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this ‘living water’?
Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?”
- Disregard your capacity: “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with.”
When you meet someone who says you are too small to be relevant and does not see your capacity to achieve what you have envisioned or magnifies what you seem to lack, you have to be careful. You may just be entering the web of opposition.
- Magnify the problem: “… and this well is deep”
Your vision should solve a problem. When you meet someone who is interested more in the length, breadth and depth of the problem than in your vision for a solution, you have to be at alert so they don’t kill your passion with their pessimism.
- Question your vision: “So how are you going to get this ‘living water’?”
When you find people who are unnecessarily bothered about how you want to achieve your vision raising questions as to the sensibility of the vision in the first place, they are potentially dangerous for your vision.
- Compare you to others: “Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob…”
When you meet certain people and they seem to give abundant evidence from history that your vision is impossible, you have to be careful. Such are people who compare your ability to get your vision done to the failure of others who may have gone before.
The fact is, if it is God’s vision, you have the capacity to achieve the vision and when you step outside of people’s estimation of you, you become a problem. Your passion has to be more powerful than your opposition!
I will now go on to share briefly four tips to managing opposition and conquering people’s negative opinion of your vision.
1. Know your vision and ascertain its source
Your potential to fulfill your Purpose can only be limited by God. If your vision is from God, dedicate yourself to all that He says about it. Prepare well for opposition. Build up your faith in God’s word and do your homework well. Let your sufficiency be in God. It is all about Him. Scriptures say that in the face of opposition, “the people who know their God will display strength and take action.”
2. Communicate the Vision
Sometimes, the reason behind opposition is a lack of knowledge. That was the problem with the Samaritan Woman. Jesus knew this and so he communicated His vision in a better way to her. Remove barriers like customs, rules and traditions. Find common grounds- what values do you both share? Both of you believe in a problem, although you believe further in the solution in your vision. Seek their perspective and show how your perspective may be better.
3. Turn Away
“And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart; for you have come down that you might see the battle.” And David said, “What have I now done? Is there not a cause?” And he turned away from him toward another…”
It appears to me that Eliab must have constantly disregarded David’s capacity considering his sharp response to him- he turned away. You too may have to ignore some people who refuse to believe in your vision. Do not be afraid to dissociate yourself from people who don’t believe in your vision. It does not have to be confrontational. Let your service prove your perspective.
4. Remain focused on your vision
“…I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?”
Let your eye be single. Trying to focus on your vision and yet flowing with your opposition may be tiresome and stressful. If you have made efforts to communicate your vision more personally, and nothing positive has resulted; on turning way, you must remain focused on your vision. Avoid unnecessary exchange of words with your opposition. Remember, it’s about God. Focus on Him.
Have you met people who do not believe in your vision? How did you handle them? Please be free to share at the Comments section. I’ll be glad to hear from you!
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