How do you spot a naysayer? First, let us define the term. A naysayer is one who criticizes, objects to, or opposes another’s efforts. When it comes to advancing the Kingdom of God, we will encounter naysayers both inside and outside of church circles.
It is so easy to be discouraged if you spend too much time listening to folks who have been so beaten down in their faith due to bad theology that they see no hope for the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ. At times, they are stifled because they gave audience to naysayers. Then there are those who want to deflate any drive on your part to carry out the dominion mandate, attempting to scare you, hinder you, or demoralize you. It is time to set your gaze and your ears in a different direction.
There is a lot that is cancerous and systemically wrong with our culture. The Bible gives us the answer to the question why. Deuteronomy 28 doesn’t pull any punches. The major problem is that too few professing believers know what that important chapter says, and if they do know, do not take God at His Word.
In my teaching and mentoring, I come across discouraged saints who struggle to understand why there are people who cannot see that abortion kills a human being. They are baffled that there are people who want to take the earnings of others and redistribute it amongst those who have not earned it. They are concerned that despite the efforts to raise their children in the faith, so many turn away. They see battles on all fronts and struggle to believe that the gates of hell will not prevail.
They think that the solution is to use the weapons of the world. The attitude goes something like this: If they lie about us, maybe we should respond in kind. If they want to use force on us, maybe we should retaliate. These ideas are precisely what St. Paul instructed us not to do, when he pointed out that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God. Only when we use the prescribed weapons will the strongholds come down. But, are we truly up for the task?
I submit that if we concentrate on the ground level – with people God has placed in our path – and engage them with the uncompromising Truth – that we will see victory.
By planting the seeds of truth and nurturing people, and staying involved with them long enough to see them grow, we will be carrying out the Great Commission on a one-on-one basis.
If we keep our focus local and refuse to be led off the path of our service, successes will come. Walking by faith is so powerful that those whom God is calling to Himself will spot us a mile away. Be bold with your words; be generous with your time; and strategically allocate your funds to make a difference one-on-one. The naysayers only achieve their ends when the people of God stop to listen to them. Share your stories, precisely to encourage others to put their hands to the plow. Publicize the efforts of those who are working out their faith with fear and trembling as they proclaim the crown rights of Jesus Christ.
Setbacks are opportunities. Stalemates are challenges. Both allow you to hone your craft as a Kingdom ambassador to pursue your God-given task, one yet unfinished. Instead of trying to move the mountain range that is far away from you, work on that hill that is before you. You will be amazed at how good you will get ignoring those who oppose King Jesus, and responding attentively to the work God has placed before you. Move the hills, and you are ready for the mountains (Matt. 17:20).
I have always clung tightly to the reality of Question 26 in the Westminster Shorter Catechism that reads,
Q: How doth Christ execute the office of a king?
A: Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.
Did you catch the last phrase? Restraining and conquering all His and our enemies. This is not for some future time but is active right now. We must make a point to look at all the evidence around us that proves this point: He has subdued us to Himself and is ruling and defending us NOW. If we fail to act on this truth, we are abandoning the spark that ignites our victory in Christ.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].