Monday, April 26, 2010

Standing Opposed

2 Timothy 2:14

Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.

2 Timothy 2:22-26

Flee the desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servants must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Some instructions are harder to swallow than others. We are called to act in faith and love. We are to spread the word of God and pray for the coming of His kingdom. Sometimes we meet up with some fierce opposition. Often, people will not want to listen. Nothing has changed in this area since the days when Christ walked the earth. Other times the opposition may be more direct.
We may find ourselves ostracized from a group that would otherwise offer open arms. People with impressive credentials, or in powerful positions will stand in the way of our calling to spread the good news. Sometimes they will attempt to call you out, so to speak, and make you look the fool by contradicting you in public.
Do not let this draw you into the confrontation that the enemy desires. It won’t take long to lose your temper. At that point it all goes south. Words spoken in anger often discredit us even in tasks of the most mundane nature. How much more credibility will you lose when you are supposed to be representing the Kingdom of Heaven? We are ambassadors of the Lord and are expected to act accordingly. The word of God stands on it’s own. God is not in need of our attempts to justify His words. Christ is our advocate. It need not be the other way around.
We have to remind ourselves that those who seem to oppose us are not always the enemy himself, but his misguided tools. We are up against a far greater threat than that heckler in the crowd, or that public figure who has taken the opposition to a very personal level.

Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

There are spiritual forces that throw themselves at us daily. When they can’t touch us directly, they come at us through others. Yes, those people have allowed it to happen. Often, they have even invited those forces in and are working willingly along side them. This does not change one simple fact. They are lost.
God has directed us to pray for them too. Christ would not have healed the possessed if they, as individuals were truly the enemy. No, it is those doing the manipulating that we must come against in prayer. It is hard to resist fighting what you see in front of you. Everything inside you knows the truth and is ready to defend it to the very end. We want to win the day and further the kingdom against the enemy. Remember that God is far more equipped than we will ever be. We are to spread His gospel and to offer our prayers. Rebuke the spirit behind the sin and opposition. Pray for those who seem to cause the trouble. Remain steadfast and do not give in. We are to set the example and pray for those who resist and even move against us. Let God move in the situation and in the lives of those involved. Remember to do as God directs us and trust Him to do the rest. It is not our place to improvise on His instructions.

Ultimately, it is His will. It is His kingdom. It is His glory.

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