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Who’s the Real Source of Opposition?
By Rick Warren

“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 2:25-26 (CEV)

When you face opposition because of your faith, you need to recognize its source.

It’s not other people. It’s not your coworkers. It’s not a political party. It’s not a competitor. The pressure you feel to cave in or be quiet or sit down when you should stand up—that pressure is not coming from other people. It’s really coming from Satan.

In Revelation 12:10 Satan is called “the accuser of our brothers and sisters” (NIV). In other words, he’s the accuser of the Christians. His number one job is to put you down.

There is an unseen spiritual battle going on all around you. This pressure to keep you from doing the right thing is not really coming from other people. 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” (GNT).

Satan knows it’s ineffective to attack Jesus Christ directly, so instead he attacks Jesus’ followers. He uses the media, music, popular culture, and anything he can to ridicule those who belong to Jesus. He’s behind the voices saying, “Those Christians are out of date. They don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re bigots.”

Here’s what the Bible says you should do: “Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments. These only lead to trouble, and 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).

If you don’t have the Holy Spirit in your life, then you have no defense against Satan. He can master your moods. He can cause you to be jealous. He can push you toward depression. He can make you angry.

You may think you’re strong, but you’re not strong enough to fight Satan’s attacks on your own. What you need to do is recognize the source—the Devil, not the person—and treat the opposition the way Jesus did.

How did Jesus treat those who opposed him? Even on the cross he said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing” (Luke 23:34 GW).

The people who attack you don’t know what they’re doing. The people who put down Jesus and church and Christianity don’t know what they’re doing.

Just like Jesus, you need to pray, “Father, forgive them” so that you can show love even under attack. Then you’ll have more energy to fight the real enemy.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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