…Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:11-12
So we are to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness. What does it look like to pursue those things? We have to run after them, like we would pursue a dream, or a love relationship. If we love something or someone, we’re going to pursue that person or thing. In the midst of running after righteousness, godliness and the rest, the key is to run after God.
Some questions to ponder today: Does God have your heart? Does He capture your affections, your time, your energy, and even your daydreaming? What does capture your affections, if it’s not God? And what do you need to get rid of that is stealing away your attention and devotion?
Here’s the fight part: It is a fight to drive away the competing attention getters and to be able to flee sin, bad company and bad habits. I was just talking with four women in jail about this. They know about Jesus and want to follow Him, but the difficulty for them is to abandon the old life, especially because they don’t have the resources to just move to another community and to start all over. We talked about Hebrews 12:4 that states: “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
We also talked about Matthew 5:30 where it says, “If your right hand causes you stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into Hell.” Now that’s a fight. Jesus’ call on our lives is a radical one, not ho hum. For some people it is really a big switch to go from walking like a child of darkness to one of light.
We are at war with the world, Satan, and our own flesh. The ‘world’ belongs to this world, and Satan is the ruler of it, according to John 14:30 where Jesus says, “The ruler of this world is coming.” Satan is the father of lies and our enemy. He seeks to steal, kill and destroy, according to John 10:10. We can’t just “go with the flow” because the world’s flow goes the opposite direction of godliness and righteousness. Finally, Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:11 to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” Have you ever felt that civil war?
Three things to think about in the fight that counteracts the world, the flesh and the Devil:
- The Word renews our mind, and so does the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:1-2 and Titus 3:5). Get into the Bible and stay in it. Call on the Holy Spirit to empower you and to fight the flesh battle for you.
- Take your thoughts captive. That’s 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. Don’t be lazy about it.
- Learn and remember who you are in Christ. Ephesians 2:3 says that we once were children of wrath, but that’s not who we are anymore. We are children of the King and His Spirit lives in us. 1 Corinthians 6:11 tells us we used to be swindlers, drunkards, revilers, etc. but now we “have been sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.