2 Timothy 2:19-26 – “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness.” 20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” NASB
The Scriptures are filled with tremendous nuggets of truth which enable the believer to live victoriously free from the bondage of the devil. Not only can we live free as we incorporate and implement the biblical principles of freedom in our lives, but we can help others experience that freedom as well.
In 2 Corinthians 3, the apostle Paul reveals that as ministers of the New Covenant, we experience a more glorious ministry through the Holy Spirit. In 2 Corinthians 4, he calls our attention to the reality that we have a treasure in earthen vessels through the Power of the Holy Spirit, not our own strength. We have a glorious ministry and we will also face a mind-numbing opposition from demonic forces. That reveals the great need of God’s Supernatural Power through the Holy Spirit in our lives.
In 2 Corinthians 2:11, the apostle informs us that we are not to be ignorant of the devices, schemes, plans, and tactics of the devil. If we have not learned how he operates, that should become an immediate objective in our spiritual development. It should become a focus of our prayer for God to open our eyes that we might see. The enemy works constantly seeking to deceive and defeat us rendering us ineffective and causing us to become castaways.
Tragically, too many times, believers play right into his hands through ignorance or disobedience. That exposes another clear reason we need to know the devil’s tactics and discipline ourselves to walk according to and in harmony with God’s Word and Spirit.
The text we have chosen tells us that we have a choice as to what kind of vessel we will be for God. In verses 20-21 we are instructed to ‘cleanse ourselves’ from dishonor in order to be a vessel that is sanctified for God’s use and prepared for every good work. Obviously, no person can cleanse themselves apart from God’s grace and mercy, so we need to fully surrender our lives to Him and then take definitive steps to walk in obedience, rejecting evil and temptation.
We are instructed to ‘flee youthful lusts.’ That is an interesting passage and I shared that with a person in their 60s who argued, “But, I am not a youth.” The term ‘youthful lusts’ does not mean that only the young can be tempted, but the kind of lusts predominately found in the young we are to reject. Paul continues his instruction and makes it clear that in rejecting or fleeing ‘youthful lusts’ we are to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. This is to be done in the company of those who are the called of God and demonstrating purity of heart.
In verses 23-26 the apostle warns or commands that we refrain from contention and disharmony. He offers the converse of that condition and directs us to learn to be patient in love and correct opposition with a spirit of grace and out of a heart filled with the Love of God. We do this so that we may help those who are in error come to their senses and escape the snares and traps the enemy has laid for them or taken them captive to do his bidding.
That is a problem that must be addressed. “How can the devil take anyone captive, especially a Christian against his will?” I believe that verse 26 gives a clear understanding that it is possible but how? That is where we will begin in the next devotional.
Until tomorrow, may the LORD bless and keep you and guide you through this wonderful day in Him!