July 21, 2022
“Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, and love, and peace along with those who call upon the Lord with a pure heart.”
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“Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, and love, and peace along with those who call upon the Lord with a pure heart. But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they breed quarrels. The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to reach, and be patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance to know the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will.” 2nd Timothy 2:22-26
I’m not much of a handyman around the house. I get by, but generally, I would rather pay a professional to do a job right than to struggle all day on a project, only to have a professional redo it because of my ignorance!
I have learned that having the right tool can make all the difference when doing a job. The same is true when we’re doing the Lord’s work. Good intentions must be matched with the Lord’s will & ways.
In today’s passage, Paul instructs Timothy on the finer points of “meekness.” Meekness is not the same as weakness. Weakness is a deficiency of power, while meekness is power under submission. Imagine a horse, a mighty creature that must be made to submit to saddle and bridle before being useful to the rider. Timothy had to be reminded to take his youthful enthusiasm and submit it to the Lord’s will.
In a rush to do “something big for God,” often new believers forget that evangelism aims to win souls, not arguments. Un-meek renegade believers often make more messes than they do converts.
Beyond resisting the foolhardy passions of worldly youthfulness, Paul is exhorting Timothy against the tendency of young believers to attempt the Lord’s work in their own strength: the wrong tool for the job.
“Then he said to me, ‘This is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might not by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6
It is important to remember that, as we pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, we are preparing for (and engaging in) spiritual battle. Those with whom we share the gospel are captured in the Devil’s trap, caught up in believing the delusions of worldliness. It is not as if we will be effective by the loud volume of our arguments. It is the power of the Holy Spirit, working through the life surrendered to God’s will, which accomplishes His purposes.
There is no limit to what the Lord will do with a surrendered and selfless life. Have you given Him yours?