2 Timothy 2:24-26 King James Version
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
What an interesting thought. People that oppose themselves! They are their own worst enemy. Have you ever heard someone say that? “I am my own worst enemy.” I have – it was me. Oh, I was having a good time. Drinking all through the night, smoking pot, hanging with friends, enjoying good food and good times on a regular basis. I was making good money and travelling where I wanted, when I wanted. I worked as a computer programmer back in the big computer era in the early 70’s, before PC’s even started to be thought of. I was doing well. I lacked nothing that I wanted.
But I was drowning. Drowning in a sea of despair. When I was alone, I was really alone. I knew I needed more but I had no idea what that more was. I was raised in the church, but had put it behind me and taken on the life of an agnostic. I knew there was some power out there, but had no idea who it was. I thought I was headed to heaven, but I was bound for hell and I didn’t even know what that meant. We made jokes about partying in hell, not knowing what really awaited us there. I was indeed my own worst enemy. I opposed myself at every turn. Thinking I was making the right turns when all the time I was going left. I was lost!
I am so thankful for the men and women who slowly led me to the right place. They took on the attributes mentioned here. Gentle, patient teachers who were humble and approached me with meekness. They instructed me about Jesus, about His love, about His mercy, about His sacrifice. Over time I learned how to walk with the Lord and stop doing things that would oppose the spirit within me. There are still times that the old man rises up again and tries to oppose me, but I have an adversary now. I have one who will come alongside and help me through any situation I may get into. He keeps me from opposing myself.
Now it is my turn to help those who oppose themselves, to pass on the blessing that has been given to me. But I must do it the right way. I cannot force Christ on them. I cannot force them to conform to my idea of what serving Jesus means. I must not strive with the, argue with them, manipulate them or be angry with them. Paul gives us a great formula here for winning the lost to Christ. First, we must be gentle. Our words and our actions must be alluring so that they want to hear what we have to say. We should not come from a position of power, but of meekness. We must be patient with them as they try to find their way out of their own way. Too often we get stuffed up in our pride and think they should come to maturity sooner. We forget that they have been opposing themselves for a long time. Transformation of the mind does not happen overnight! It can take years to come out of the bondage and chaos that a troubled mind can leave. Believe Me, I know. But God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can think or imagine! (Ephesians 3:20). We have a mandate to tell people about this amazing God we serve. He is the one who sets the captive free! Those who are in opposition to themselves will find the greatest advocate of all time when we introduce them to Jesus.
The truth is that those who oppose themselves are in the enemy’s clutches. He has them right where he wants them, and has no desire tom let them go. It is our responsibility to help them find themselves, to recover themselves, and become the person God designed them to be, not the one the enemy has tricked them into. I was tricked by the enemy into a lifestyle of drugs, booze and sex. The riches of this world trapped me into believing I was fulfilling the plan for my life. But I was not even close to it. I was in such opposition to the plan God had for me that I would not even begin to see His plan. God’s plan was for me to be His witness, my plan was to be isolated and alone. God’s plan was to have me minister the word; my plan was to hurt people with my words. God’s plan was for me to sing the songs he gave me, my plan was to sing in silence. God’s plan was there all the time but I did not see it. I had to recover myself before I could see it. The real me that God had created needed to be turned into the clay so the potter could mold it. I was in the enemy’s hands.
I was so glad when God finally urged me into His plan. There is so much more peace here. So much more joy and so much more love. There is little to fear and so much to be thankful for. There is little doubt about who God wants me to be and a lot of faith that I can become that person. Don’t get me wrong. I still oppose myself at times. There are still times that I do not walk where I should walk. There are times the snare of the enemy tries to capture me once again. But I have been set free and am no longer bound by it. When the snare catches me, God quickly opens it and I escape. That’s how much He loves me, and He loves you too!
How about you? Are you opposing yourself today? Are you living a life that is not in line with what God wants for you? I ask you to come out of that place. Come meet the Savior, Jesus Christ. He can help you recover the real you and walk with God once again. Just trust Him!