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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Understanding the Real Source of Opposition

In review of 2 Timothy 2:25-26 it says, “Be humble when you correct people who oppose you. Maybe God will lead them to turn to him and learn the truth. They have been trapped by the devil, and he makes them obey him, but God may help them escape.”

Bottom Line:
Be humble in how you speak to those who don’t understand the truth. Perhaps God will use your interaction as an opportunity to help them with a change of heart, allowing them to escape the enemy’s trap that has held them captive.

What this means to me:
I am to be humble and gently speak with those who oppose me or are mixed up concerning the truth. Perhaps God will my interaction with them as an opportunity to help them with understanding and a change of heart allowing them to escape from the enemy's trap that held them captive.

Today’s verse helps me realize that when I may face opposition because of my faith, I should readily recognize the source of this opposition. It’s not others. The pressure I feel to cave in or be quiet or sit down when I should stand up, is not coming from others, but rather coming from the enemy.

In Revelation 12:10, the enemy, “Satan” is called “the accuser of the Christians.” His number one job is to put me down.

What I’ve learned is that there is an unseen spiritual battle going on all around me. This pressure to keep me from doing the right thing is not really coming from others. They’re just weapons. Most of the time they don’t even know they’re being used. The real issue is spiritual warfare.

Ephesians 6:12 says, “We are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world” (TEV).

Satan knows it doesn’t make sense to attack Jesus Christ directly, so instead he attacks those who follow him. He uses the media and music and popular culture and anything he can to ridicule those who follow Jesus. He’s behind the voices saying, “Those Christians are out of date. They’re on the wrong side of history. They don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re prejudice against equality.”

Here’s what the Bible says I should do: “Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments. These only lead to trouble. God’s servants must not be troublemakers. They must be kind to everyone, and they must be good teachers and very patient. Be humble when you correct people who oppose you …. They have been trapped by the devil, and he makes them obey him, but God may help them escape” (2 Timothy 2:23-26 CEV).

Without the Holy Spirit in my life, I would not have any defense against the enemy. He can after my mood, push me into depression or make me angry.

While I may think I’m strong, I’m not strong enough to fight Satan’s attacks on my own. What I need to do is recognize the source — the enemy, not the person — and treat the opposition the way Jesus did, (even on the cross he said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”)

The people who attack me or put down Jesus, the church and Christianity don’t know what they’re doing. My reaction should also be to pray, “Father, forgive them” so that I can show love even under attack and so I’ll have more energy to fight the real enemy.

In summary, I need to remember to be humble and gently speak with those who oppose me or are mixed up concerning things related to the truth. It’s the enemy at work. Perhaps my gentle response will be used by God as an opportunity to help them with understanding and a change of heart allowing them to escape from the enemy's trap.

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