Stacy Lee

Light My Way

Rejection: God’s Way of Shutting a Door

Jesus rejected at Nazareth: All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. ~Luke 4:28-30 NIV

“And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.” ~Mark 6:11 NIV

I was going to write on a new piece, but God led me to write on the topic of rejection. This image “Light My Way,” although older, is more appropriate for this issue because I believe God does order our steps through rejection.

Rejection is one of the hardest things we humans have to deal with. One of the definitions of the word “reject” is to spit out or vomit. Being rejected can literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. Jesus knew what this meant. He was rejected by His own people in Nazareth. According to the above passage in Luke, they literally drove Him out of town. But what I love about this scripture is the last sentence: “But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.” He simply went on His way. He didn’t stand in front of a shut door—He moved!

We have to know when to move. We have to know when God is calling us to move. The steps of the righteous person are ordered by the Lord, and God will use rejection as a sign for us to move on (Psalm 37:23). Jesus does not dwell on the rejection or feed off of it into anger or depression. He simply “went on his way.”

Jesus also tells us if we are not received or heard then we should shake the dust off our feet as we move on (Mark 6:11). The word for “receive” in the NKJV or “welcome” in the NIV is from the Greek word dexomai meaning “to receive hospitably, entertain.” In other words, if you are not treated in a hospitable manner by those you have come to minister too or serve with, then it may be time to shake off the dust and move on.

I like the idea here of shaking off the dust. It’s almost like saying, “I’m not going to let this bother me or get to me. This isn’t about me, they are rejecting the God I serve and the ministry He has called me into.” In New Testament times, the disciples would shake the dust off their feet as a way of showing separation from the Jews who had rejected their Messiah. It was a way of saying they made the wrong decision.

What about being rejected by other believers? One of the hardest things we have to deal with is being rejected by fellow believers. We can’t take offense when this happens; we have to trust that God has something far greater for us elsewhere. If we feel we are being hindered and cannot serve in the capacity the Lord has called us to serve because of rejection, then don’t mull over it—move on. Don’t stand in front of a shut door crying. Move on! Jesus was rejected by His own people, and He simply went on His way.

God can use a trap set out by the enemy who led you into rejection and make it into a stepping stone. There is purpose in everything—yes, even in rejection! Rejoice in the Lord for simply lighting your way. It may have hurt for a time, but God has something greater for you. You have to trust and believe that there is a new day coming of getting back up. There will come a day when you can serve the Lord in full capacity in a place were you are received hospitably and able to do all that God has sent you to do. Then, you can truly dance on rejection! Satan may have meant it to stop you and hurt you, but God will always use it for your good. Glory be to God! Amen.

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