I TIMOTHY 1:18-19: “This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: Am I headed in the right direction? Each day is the combination of a gift, an adventure, an opportunity, and a battle. Sometimes we are coasting downhill with the wind in our face, and other times we are peddling as hard as we can as we face a hill that seems to have no end. In all of this we can hear Paul’s words to young Timothy – “…wage the good warfare!…”
Timothy was a young pastor with little life experience. Paul was his mentor and had weathered the storms of life. Paul knew the importance of facing each day with the proper mental and spiritual preparation. He knew the importance of the prophetic word, and the written Word. Thus, he calls Timothy to hold them both close to his heart.
The prophetic words were the revelation, through spiritual gifts, that proclaimed God’s purposes and vision for Timothy’s life and ministry. These were the promises and proclamations of the Spirit over Timothy. Paul knew that the enemy would try to kill, steal, and destroy these in Timothy’s life, so he constantly called him to stir them up, to remember them, and to pursue them. They were the personal words that gave Timothy, and that give us, our compass point in life.
Next, Paul gives Timothy two keys to staying on course. He uses a shipping analogy as he gives them to Timothy. If Timothy employs them, he will charter a course successfully through life. If Timothy ignores them, he will run the risk of seeing his life shipwrecked. These two keys are faith and a good conscience.
When Paul speaks of faith he is speaking of the truth that has been revealed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The truth about the nature and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The truth about justification by faith. The truth about grace. Truth is the boat in which we sail. If we abandon the truth of grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and begin to replace it with any type of works righteousness, or wisdom of our own making – our ship is headed for the rocks!
When Paul speaks of conscience he is speaking of the inner voice of the Spirit to our spirit. It is the call to learn how to listen to the still small voice of the Spirit daily as we navigate through life. This still small voice will always be in agreement with the written Word of God. It will always lead us toward that which is holy, good, and just. And it will always lead us to love. This is the rudder that keeps our ship from scuttling into the rocks, or sailing off into the dangerous waters of spiritual pride and the sea of a critical spirit. This is the greatest challenger before us daily in our lives.
Lord, this morning I acknowledge fully that You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life! I know that my standing in You, and before You, are not based on my own works or merit, but are anchored fully in the completed work of Jesus Christ through the Cross. As Jesus has been raised from the dead, this morning I too am raised to live a new life in Christ Jesus. Let Your Truth be the foundation for my life and give me a sensitive ear to the voice of Your Holy Spirit so that I can navigate through the seas that I will face today. In Jesus Name!