As believers there are times we find ourselves weary, engaged with complicated and complex spiritual problems. Often the primary cause is not complicated, we are our own opposition. This is powerfully presented in 2 Tim. 2:25:
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
Years of ministry has allowed me to see, quite clearly, that the real issue is most often identified by the words in bold: “oppose themselves.” We found the enemy, and it is us!
My request is for us to consider these four scenarios and examine ourselves as Paul exhorted to see what our own responses are in actuality. My purpose is to help us choose one that will assist us in refusing to be our own worst enemies:
1. Tell me more of what I already know because I already know how to recognize Truth. I am the final authority of what I embrace or refuse. Anything I have not heard before cannot be biblical. I am determined to be a Bible Christian. We are of Christ!
2. Tell me what I already want to hear, and explain the benefits and privileges very carefully. I trust no one else but myself to be successful and wealthy. Oh, how wonderful it is to have God as my “shield and butler.” Reinforce my skill on how to get things from God the Father.
3. Tell me the essentials and help me understand the essence of this Kingdom, which Christ inaugurated and asked us to make our priority. Everything else seems to be increasingly stale and unworkable. There is something about this Kingdom that takes me out of myself and into a dimension that is not self-serving. It does disturb me, but count me in.
4. Tell me how to learn to please God as a Father, a Father that planned and implemented a total and workable plan of redemption. He has suffered severe accusations and abuse for saying He is Creator and Father. I want to know how to please this Father who has given us an authentic redemptive future. I do not want to use Him; I am available for Him to use me to reveal Christ to those who sit in darkness.
When Lazarus emerged from the tomb at Jesus command, he was still wrapped in grave clothes. Strange, isn’t it, that the sheer power of the resurrection refused to set him entirely free? He was dependent upon another to assist the removal of His very own grave clothes. Authentic freedom depends upon the presence of someone in our world who can recognize the nature of the bondage that causes us to be an opposition to our own selves!
Please, for our own sakes, our children’s sake, our wife/husband’s sake, for the Kingdom’s sake, let’s mature and embrace the reality of what it means for us to recover ourselves from the snare of the enemy!