“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:24-26
In this passage the apostle Paul makes a startling statement! He says that it is possible for believers to be taken captive by the devil to the point they end up doing his will and not the will of God. Like the Blue’s Bothers, they say they’re on a mission from God but in reality they are doing the will of the enemy. Just think about how insidious that is! Allow me to list the terms in this passage that describe how something like this could happen.
They are in opposition to the servant of the Lord and thus, in opposition to God.
They are in this oppositional posture because they do not know the truth. This indicates they have been deceived by the devil and are believing a lie.
As a result they are not in their right mind and need to come to their senses. Spiritual deception has caused them to think and believe things that are against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5), things that reflect a wisdom that is earthly, sensual and demonic. (James 3:15)
They need to be corrected with patient and gentle teaching.
It is through repentance and coming to know the truth that they are able to escape the snare of the devil.
This reminds me of Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. He left the father’s house and wasted his money on riotous living, an apt description of spiritual deception. He ended up in a pig pen, an apt description of spiritual bondage. Then he “came to himself”, an apt description of coming to his senses. He then arose and went back to his father, an apt description of repentance and escaping the snare of the devil.
The alarming possibility of being taken captive by the devil and doing his will should sober us all. Since we are all capable of being deceived we need to be watchful and diligent. No wonder the Psalmist David said, “You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” (Psalm 51:6) Maintaining truth in the deepest part of our hearts is only possible when we have a close and intimate walk with the Lord Jesus. This means quality time in His word and a conscious, humble dependence on the Holy Spirit. We also need a transparent openness that allows other believers to speak into our life. God can use them to help me with my blind spots.
God is in the deliverance business! He can and will set you free. You can have the mind of Christ and escape the snare of the devil. You can stop doing damage to the Lord’s kingdom and begin doing damage to the kingdom of darkness. Much is at stake. Be free in Christ Jesus!