14:1 "Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. 3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4 But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles. 5 And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them, 6 they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region. 7 And they were preaching the gospel there."
Have you noticed a pattern in Acts yet? Talking about Jesus created believers and enemies. The enemies resisted to the point of injustice or violence and then the preachers moved on to another place only to start the cycle over again.
There are some exceptions though. When Peter and John were preaching in the temple and got arrested and threatened they went right back to the temple after their release and kept preaching. When we examine Jesus' life we find there were times He stayed in a place and faced the resistance and other times where He simply went elsewhere.
We struggle with that. I can't tell you how many times over the years in classrooms and meetings and discussions with colleagues that we expose out A vs B thinking. Someone will describe a scenario and then ask "What should be done in such a case?"
The fallacy is in the question. The question is framed in such a way as to create the illusion that there is only one answer that applies in every similar circumstance. Question: "When I face resistance should I keep going or pack my bags and move on?"
Years ago there was a movement called WWJD - What Would Jesus Do? A friend and fellow pastor turned the acronym around to WDJD - What Did Jesus Do. Neat trick but it does not solve the dilemma. Sometimes Jesus faced His resistors and sometimes He moved on and left them alone. Not very helpful right?
I can't emphasize this truth enough. Rarely is there a hard definite one size fits all answer to any question. Every circumstance is different. Sometimes staying will do more good than harm. Sometimes staying will do more harm than good. There is no textbook answer. There is no "Thus saith the Lord" answer that applies to all situations.
The answer is much more fluid but much more effective. Jesus said "My sheep know My voice and they follow Me." We don't need a textbook. We need a living constant connection with God. He knows the answer of when to hold'em and when to fold'em, when to walk away and when to stay. Resistance is bound to come. The Gospel of the love of God is always divisive. Some of us just prefer our own ways and desire to have the illusion of full control rather than submit to the matchless love and infinitely better plans of our Father. Navigating that resistance requires a living connection with heaven. He knows every heart. He knows every circumstance. He knows where and when and how to best approach every situation. Don't reach for a textbook or the opinions of others to navigate the tight spots. Don't fall for the illusion that there is a one size fits all answer. Trust God. Seek His leading and trust He is with you even if/when you make the wrong choice. "God can steer a moving ship."