Fight!

The Christian life is an active life. 1 Timothy 6.11, 12

The Pastoral Epistles: 1 Timothy 6 (4)

Pray Psalm 140.1-3.

Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men;
Preserve me from violent men,
Who plan evil things in theirhearts;
They continually gather together for war.
They sharpen their tongues like a serpent;
The poison of asps is under their lips.

Read and meditate on 1 Timothy 6.11, 12.

Reflect.

1. How many different verbs does Paul use in these two verses to refer to the life of faith?

2. Why does our faith require us to fight? Against what? 

Meditate.
The Christian life is an active life. Look at all the verbs Paul uses to exhort Timothy in his walk with the Lord: flee, pursue, fight, lay hold on, confess. Following Jesus is not a spectator sport. Jesus was always on the move and always looking for opportunities to do good and speak truth. So should His followers be, beginning with their shepherds, like Timothy.

First, we must continually set aside and flee from those things that rob us of our freedom and contentment. This is a daily and ongoing requirement. Then we must actively pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. We do not possess these naturally. We must work to understand them, envision what they will look like as they come to fruition in our lives, and take the daily next steps that will see us making progress in each of these areas.

As we do, get ready for a fight. The law of sin in your soul will fight you. The devil will fight you. Those who do not believe the Gospel will fight you. You’ll feel reluctant to come out of the corner and into the center of the ring, because you know you’re not ready to punch it out with such strong foes. You need to get in shape for the fight, feeding daily on the Word, exercising prayer and obedience, and refusing to give any ground in any area of your life to the enemies of God.

Like Timothy, you have been called to confess Jesus by your life and words (1 Thess. 2.12). Let the believers who know you, and the people you’re with each day, witness the reality of Jesus in your life, fighting to overcome evil with good and to advance His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

It’s a fight, for sure, but our Champion has already won it, and stands ready to fight for and in and through us each day.

Reflect.
1. Why is fighting a good metaphor for thinking about the life of faith?

2. Fleeing things that rob us of our freedom and contentment must be an ongoing activity. How would you explain this discipline to a new believer?

3. What does it mean to “lay hold” on eternal life? How can believers help one another in this?

You are about to enter a noble contest in which the living God acts the part of superintendent and the Holy Spirit is your trainer, a contest whose crown is eternity, whose prize is angelic nature, citizenship in heaven for ever and ever. Tertullian (155-250), To the Martyrs 3.3

Help me to get in better shape, Lord, so that I can go into the fight every day and…

Pray Psalm 140.1-3.

How would the enemy of your soul like to distract and defeat you today? Prepare for that in prayer, and call on the Lord to deliver you.

Sing Psalm 140.1-3.
Psalm 140.1-3 (Old Rockingham: O Lord Most High, with All My Heart)
From evil, violent men, I pray, deliver me, preserve me, Lord!
Their hearts they bend to evil ways, and serpent’s venom is their word.

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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