DAILY WORD 1/11/21
22. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.
2 Timothy 2:22 NLT
Today’s Passage is yet another Advantageous Admonition that Paul imparts to Timothy in this Final Letter to the saints before his death at the hands of those that would see the destruction of the Church. It is a simple yet poignant reminder that though we are Called to Lead and Guide God’s people, there are still many temptations that come against us daily to try and coax us off of the Proper Path.
I find it interesting that Paul chooses the word “flee” to characterize the way we should treat the list of pitfalls that he catalogs throughout his correspondences. It is one thing to notice these hazards and stroll calmly away from them as if they are mere drawbacks to our progression, speedbumps on the road of life.
However, that is not how Paul seems to be characterizing them or what our reaction to them should be. He tells Timothy to “run” or flee from these youthful lusts. To me, this indicates an urgent and immediate escape from imminent peril that is such a looming risk that it must be avoided and eluded at all cost, and quickly.
Why is it that he attaches such a pressing level of magnitude to his warning against giving rise to these youthful lusts? It is because he knows the outcome of allowing them to fester and grow, Paul knows what comes next.
He has seen the end of an individual that allows the lusts of the flesh that so many young people face and he is doing his best to ensure that Timothy is prepared to combat these weights and sins that can so easily attach themselves to the unwary Christian Traveler.
Especially in today’s climate of Y.O.LO. (You Only Live Once, so you better have all the fun you can while you can,) we can see for ourselves the consequences of allowing youthful lusts into our lives, to corrupt the souls of those that otherwise would heed the Call of Christ. So many youths are shunning the Church that there is a name that has been created for this new group of young people.
They are called the Nones; people that affiliate with no Religion or Faith at all. They see no future in Christ or in Christianity because the draw of sin has so invaded their psyches that they have completely turned away from God, the Church, and Righteousness. They do what they want and are not concerned about the consequences because after all, you only live once.
But Paul is warning Timothy as a Christian Leader to teach his followers to run headlong from the juvenile desires that will ultimately lead to this abysmal state of being. There is no hope and even less future in this position and as a Leader, it is paramount that we do whatever is necessary to urge those under our Guidance, especially the youth, away from this precipice of destruction.
So, if that is the case, what should we be seeking to follow after? Paul tells us to “pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace.” This is the list of things that will not only help us to flee from youthful lusts but will provide us with the Strength to take on whatever pitfalls or assaults of the enemy we encounter on our trek toward our Reward.
In addition, Paul understands just how dangerous and captivating the desires of youth can be, so he leaves us with another handy weapon with which to combat them; Unity. When he tells Timothy to “Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”, and it is not just for the enjoyment of the company they provide.
He gives this admonition because he understands that there is Strength in Numbers. It is one thing to run away from the lusts of the flesh alone as they hound you, it is another thing altogether to stand against them as a unit of like-minded warriors. Given that scenario, the trials of life and the lusts of youth may just have to flee you!
Alone, the weights of this world can easily overwhelm any traveler but with other synchronous individuals to call on for support, any burden and be lifted, any encumbrance and be carried and tossed aside. It is always good to have friends, especially when you are facing a zealous and formidable enemy.
With a group of robust companions at your side, even when you are at your weakest and cannot carry on, they can drag you out of harm’s way and get you to safety. Alone the same situation would mean disaster. Once again, in his Final Letter of Admonition, Paul provides us with another arrow in the quiver that will help us fight through to Final Victory.
As Christian Leaders, we need every available weapon possible at our disposal to combat the enemy and his relentless attempts to destroy us and all those that are trying to Follow Christ. It’s true, you do only live once, so you had better get it right the first time. This is not just a race; it is a war, and to win we will need every advantage available; the stakes are just that high!
Have a Marvelous Monday and Find a Friend, it may be the difference between being Vanquished and Total Victory!