By Samuel Oyejola
The work of God is the great commission He has handed over to us as Christians. There is no excuse for not attending to this assignment. The commission involves depopulating the kingdom of darkness and populating the kingdom of God by witnessing the salvation of Christ to souls on the path of destruction. That the kingdom of heaven must be populated, the devil and his cohorts are unrelenting to keep men on the path to eternal damnation rooted. They therefore make desperate efforts to ensure that more than enough souls are capture in destruction.
In ensuring this, effort is on frustrating the kingdom work of Christians. Recall that in Acts 4:3-22 Apostle Peter and John were arrested by the administrators of the temple and Sadducees for preaching about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Acts 6:8-10, opposition rose against Stephen and in chapter 7:54-60, he was eventually stoned to death.
Apostle Paul, before his conversion persecuted Christians and he was also persecuted. Severally there were plots to kill him. He was stoned nearly to death, Acts 14:19-20; he and Silas were flogged and imprisoned by gentiles in Philippi.
There are records of many Christians in the Bible that were persecuted because of their confession and commitment to God’s kingdom. It is therefore important that Christians today learn and draw strength from the experiences of these men of God that were mentioned in the Bible. Jesus Christ however assured that in spite all these Christians should not be deterred nor discouraged, they would be persecuted for their commitment to Him. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We can only wish that this cup would pass over us but we know it would come as colleagues, friends and families may turn around to make us uncomfortable or deny you access to what are your entitlements due to your conviction and confession to the Lordship of Christ as Lord and Savior.
The first step to follow in doing the work of God in a toxic environment is to ensure that you live by the rules stipulated by constituted authorities. Apostle Peter in IPeter2:12 said “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority.” In Romans 13:1, we are charged to “be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
Another step is to ensure that you do not relent in showing love to the people around you. The best way to manage a toxic environment is to extend your genuine love to those who are the source of this toxicity. Jesus in Luke 6:27-36 urged Christians to show love to their enemies. The foundation of the Great Commission is love, it is imperative to lead the way in this regard. Christians are change agents in the world, so they are to live by the dictate of what Jesus preach.
While you show love and obey constituted authorities, you must also not relent in prayers. Prayers change and move mountains. Prayer can change the tide in that environment that produces toxicity.