Scripture time and again reminds us believers that when God saved us, he essentially hired us to work for him, even if our work(s) may be considered insignificant. Paul pointed out several times that members seen as small and insignificant should never be despised and dismissed by other members (see 1 Cor. 6:4; 12:14-23) since their “small” work may lead to something great. Every one of us true believers has something to contribute, but when your contribution or work is assigned to you by the Holy Spirit, don’t assume a welcome mat will be rolled out for you. It’s great and commendable if that happens and it should happen. Nevertheless, we have the following four examples where devils were revealed as being behind great opposition to some great works that seemed small at the time:
1) Job: This guy was hated by Satan so much that the devil went to God not once, but twice, seeking permission to unjustifiably do him harm. After Satan’s first attack in Job 1, God repeated the same compliments about Job in Job 2, “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity…” The devil was so quick to be the accuser of the brethren that little did he know his opposition was being used by God to bring about great works for God. After Job survived great devilish opposition, he became an encouragement to saints throughout history of righteousness, patience, and endurance to the end (see Ezek. 14:14, 20; Jas. 5:11). Not to mention that ultimately his situation brought about the salvation of his lost “religious” friends.
2) Daniel: Like Job, Daniel was mentioned by Ezekiel as a shining example of righteousness. And like Job, Daniel had great devilish opposition before he received his greatest last days vision from God. The prophet mourned and fasted three weeks crying out to God for revelation on how the end of Israel’s captivity would impact the world (Daniel 10). Jehovah immediately delivered Daniel’s answer via Gabriel, but Gabriel, with the help of Michael, had to fight off the opposing devil who was called the Prince of Persia. The fierce battle had lasted those three weeks and we find out why when the vision was revealed in Daniel 11 and 12. The return of Israel from captivity had ripple effects lasting through the remainder of the Old Testament, into the New Testament, and all the way up to Christ’s eventual return in the future. The Prince of Persia didn’t want God’s saints to have the encouraging intel Daniel’s vision has provided us that lays out the enemy’s game plan and why we should work for the Ancient of Days.
3) Joshua, the son of Josedech: This high priest who was in captivity had returned to Israel and was helping Zerubbabel, Ezra, and others to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem. But according to Zechariah, Satan personally opposed Joshua before God’s throne in heaven (Zech. 3). Joshua had filthy garments on (symbolic of his sins) as he stood before God, but God cleansed him, Zechariah blessed him, then God revealed why Joshua was so important despite his past sins. His work with the second Temple was the foundation to usher in the coming Messiah (Zech. 3:8), partially fulfilling Daniel’s vision mentioned above.
4) The crowned woman and her seed (Rev. 12): This chapter seems to mingle the past with the future. It presents a future time when Satan will have all access to heaven cut off and will no longer be allowed to stand before God to accuse us as he did with Job and Joshua above (Rev. 12:10). Then he will unleash all-out war against what many believe are the Tribulation saints for the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation after the woman (Israel) gets special protection (Rev. 12:15-17). Their efforts involve and have an impact on the 144,000 saints that will arise from Israel (Rev. 14).
Sometimes we assume the failure of our work to get off the ground means God doesn’t want us to do it. That’s possible. But perhaps it means that the devil greatly opposes it for an unforeseen great impact it will bring for God’s glory. May the Lord give us the revelation to wisely discern which scenario it really is.