What to Do When The Resistance Gets Spiritual

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spiritual resistance

Here I am again, 3 PM and I have some more difficult phone calls to make. In addition to the physical component we discussed yesterday, I’m experiencing a different kind of resistance. This kind is stealthy. Its effects are devastating.

I want to pick up that phone, but a crazy little voice in my head starts talking:

  • Stop trying. They’re going to reject you.
  • Give it up. You’re not good enough for this.
  • Don’t even bother. You’re a failure.

Ouch, right?

Have you dealt with this kind of resistance before? Maybe you’re not as self-deprecating. Perhaps it doesn’t hit you so directly; it sneaks around the back door. Either way, the wall is up and its stopping you from moving forward.

This is where I tell you that we have a real spiritual enemy and that he and his servants are constantly working against us. I believe that to be true and about 50% of you will as well. If you don’t, that’s ok but I will quote one of my favorite lines from the movie, The Usual Suspects.

“The greatest trick the devil ever performed was
to convince the world that he doesn’t exist.”

This doesn’t mean that our spiritual resistance is always an external attack, but oftentimes it can be. Internal or external, this resistance can manifest itself in different ways. Here are the three that I see most often.


Fear is a defense mechanism. It keeps us safe, but it also keeps us in a box. A healthy dose of fear will keep you from walking into oncoming traffic. An unhealthy dose will keep you from starting up the nonprofit that you know your community needs.

There are lots of things that can become the object of your fear (discomfort, rejection, failure,etc.) Regardless of object, fear can wreak havoc on your psyche. You can literally become terrified by the idea of taking the next action.

Self Doubt

If you’re doing something worth doing, it probably involves getting out of your comfort zone. It probably means you’re going to have to learn a few new skills that you may not currently possess.

The resistance will stir up doubt on the inside. It will convince you that you’re not capable of becoming the person you need to be. It’ll even cause you to question your worth.


This is when it starts to get nasty. The resistance starts to whisper in your ear.

  • “You’re no good.”
  • “You’re an impostor.”
  • “You don’t deserve this.”

This is where you get seriously oppressed. This is what keeps people from accepting forgiveness, living under grace, and being transformed. Words are powerful. The most powerful words are the ones we say to ourselves.

Quick truth:

“There is therefore now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

So What Do We Do?

Here are a few posts that will help:

This song is inspiring as well:

The more time we can spend preparing for the battle, the easier we’ll be able to overcome it. Imagine what it will be like when we get to the place where we don’t have to struggle with physical or spiritual resistance. What else could there be?

Let’s take a look at something called rational resistance.

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5 Responses to What to Do When The Resistance Gets Spiritual

  1. Jason Wert March 9, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    Good stuff, Kenny. I’m guilty of pretty much all of this.


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