In meekness the servant of the Lord should instruct those who oppose themselves.
(2 Timothy 2:25)
How might those of us in Jesus oppose ourselves?
- With our words
- With a lack of knowledge of God’s character
- With our thoughts
- With our sins and unrighteousness
- With our passivity
- With our actions
Let’s look at how we oppose ourselves with our foolish ideas of God’s character.
If you have ever heard someone say, “My god would never …” or “the god I worship would not …” then you will recognize how important it is to accurately know God and his character. When we misunderstand the God who made the heavens and earth and attribute qualities to him that are incorrect — or worse, slanderous — then we have created a little god, a different god, a god that more closely reflects our character than his.
God Is Constant
We change. Our minds, bodies, and feelings change. Our attitudes and beliefs about God change. But God never changes. He is the same today as he was light years ago and will be light years from now. God is constant. He never wavers.
I am the Lord, I change not. (Malachi 3:6)
The Father of the heavenly lights does not change. (James 1:17)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
We oppose ourselves and create barriers for our success when we change our view of God from who he is to who we wish he were. When we change God to fit our view of who we think he should be, we are creating an idol and idols have no power. Our little gods cannot help us sell more books or bring a harvest of blessings. Only God can do the miraculous. When we accept that he is the God of consistency, the God who never changes, who never tires, who never gives up and quits on us, we tap into the same power that created planets and stars and all that is good.
God Is All Powerful
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made. (Psalm 33:6)
All things were made by him. Without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3)
There is nothing too difficult for God. No mistake, no poor book launch, no amount of negative reviews can prevent God from acting on your behalf. All things are made by him. If we lack anything, we should ask him. He gives generously to all without finding fault. (James 1:5) But when we fail to plug into his power, when we fail to ask — when we think it is beneath us to ask — we oppose ourselves.
Let us begin to ask God today to use his power for our good in order that we might do his will more perfectly. (Romans 8:28)
God Is Full of Perfect Wisdom
The depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge are God’s! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! (Romans 11:33)
We oppose ourselves when we fail to ask God for his perfect wisdom. Many a poor decision ends in failure because we failed to ask for God’s perfect wisdom at the beginning. Perhaps in pride, perhaps in ignorance, but thinking we know best is one of the worst ways we oppose ourselves. Ask God at the start and our endings will be certain.
God Is Full of Beauty, Faithfulness, Generosity, Gentleness, Goodness, Grace, Holiness, Kindness, Love, Mercy, Joy, Peace, Patience, and Righteousness,
There are so many wonderful qualities of God that is perhaps easier to say:
Whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, whatever is excellent, whatever is worthy of praise, these are the qualities of God. (Philippians 4:8-9)
Anytime we think less of God than he is, we oppose ourselves and hinder our success. Anytime we believe he wants less for us, we oppose ourselves and hinder our success. Worse, in doing so we diminish the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. He came that we may have life, and have a life so full that it’s pressed into our hearts and flowing out.” (John 10:10)
Know the character of God. Read his word and you will see him for who he is. Read the words of Jesus and you will gain a larger picture of God and his fullness. Finally, if you are in Christ, then pray that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19-21) When we reach this level of completeness in Christ, we will no longer have any desire to oppose ourselves.