BIBLE MEDITATION: “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things....” 2 Timothy 1:11-12 (KJV)
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: What triggers demonic attacks against you, your dream, your vision, your calling, your business, your family, your church, or your ministry? What makes the devil so upset that he rises up to resist you and your efforts? If God chose you, why are you experiencing so many hassles and difficulties along the way to your goal of fulfilling all He has called you to do? In Second Timothy 1:11 and 12, Paul gives us incredible insight into what triggers a demonic attack. He says, "Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things...." In this verse, Paul writes about his specific calling in the Body of Christ. He affirms to us that he is called and appointed to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. Then notice that he immediately follows by saying, "For the which cause I also suffer these things..." (2 Timothy 1:12).
The word "suffer" is the Greek word pascho, and first and foremost it means to suffer as a result of outside forces or outside circumstances. It could include physical suffering due to persecution; mental suffering due to outside pressures; financial suffering due to monetary hardships; or any inconvenience that stems from something outside of oneself or outside of one's control. Thus, the word pascho would depict any suffering or inconvenience due to forces beyond oneself. When Paul wrote this verse, he used a tense in the Greek that lets us know he was experiencing these inconveniences at the very moment he was writing this epistle. At that time, Paul was in Rome, sitting in a prison cell, awaiting his own execution, and being accused of crimes that he had not committed. Because Satan couldn't find a way to personally destroy Paul, the enemy was manipulating outside forces against Paul and his ministry. The apostle's situation had been created by outside pressures that had nothing to do with himself but that the devil had orchestrated to use against him. Satan was terrified of Paul's calling! The reason Paul was recurrently attacked is that the devil was fearful of the enormous progress Paul would make if he didn't face opposition. Paul let us know that his anointing, his calling, and his potential were the factors that triggered these demonic attacks. It's almost as though Paul was saying, "Do you want to know why I've suffered so many crazy things during the course of my ministry? Because I am appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles."
You see, Satan was scared stiff of what would happen if Paul operated 100 percent in his call. How much would he be able to accomplish if he had no resistance? If Paul was able to do the incredible things he did for God's Kingdom in the face of such opposition, what kind of Gospel advancements would he make if there was no opposition? This thought was so chilling to the devil that he threw every possible obstacle in Paul's path to slow him down, to discredit him, to destroy his friendships, and, if possible, to even kill him. Satan hated the call on Paul's life. The reason Paul was never defeated by these attacks is that he had made a decision. He decided he would not stop or give up until he had apprehended that for which Christ Jesus had apprehended him (Philippians 3:12). Likewise, the only way you'll be able to resist the devil's attacks and successfully achieve all God has called you to do is by determining never to stop until you have accomplished your divine assignment. Jesus taught that those who "endure to the end" are the ones who will receive the prize (Matthew 24:13).
If you want to overcome all the attacks the devil tries to wage against you through outside forces, you will have to be determined to outlast every attack! Determination is a key factor in finishing one's race of faith.
ACTION POINT: The most common reason people don't make it all the way to the end is that they weren't totally committed to completing the task assigned to them. Maybe they tried it or gave it a shot, but their commitment wasn't strong enough, and that's why they didn't make it. There are many things Satan can do to try to elbow us out of the race, but the only one who can decide to quit is you or me. Satan can't make us quit. That choice lies in our hands alone.
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