“…..so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.”
1 Timothy 1: 18b-19
1 Timothy 1: 18-20
Imagine that you are in the mountains in heavy fog or aboard a boat asea or on a large lake in the same situation. You are having to rely on your compass to direct you. Your compass can be trusted but it takes an effort to follow its direction especially if your own sense of direction is telling you a different route. Your compass will be even more effective if before the fog came down you knew your position.
Now translate this to life and faith. For compass read conscience and for the foggy situation read the conflicting and confusing realities of life. Paul has been encouraging Timothy to ensure the Church stays with the truth of God’s Word and Law holding to the Gospel in Christ. He has listed the behaviours that are contrary to this truth and has urged Timothy to command the individuals not to teach such falsehood. As we reach the conclusion of this Chapter there is personal encouragement for Timothy; stay the course hold on to your faith. His conscience will assist acting as a compass giving direction in line with God’s Word and the Gospel. His faith in Jesus Christ and God’s Word will be his anchor in the storms of life. This anchor is grounded in the rock of Jesus Christ. When those storms come it will be well for Timothy to know where he stands with Jesus; this will put him in a stronger position to face what lies ahead. As Paul warns though faith is a battle. Times can be confusing and the old nature working within coupled with the principalities and powers opposed to God make for trials of faith.
The application for us is clear. There will be times where we feel lost in a confusing fog of different explanations for life and demands of society. Storms will come our way, this is a reality of life. God has given us His written Word and He has blessed us with the gift of the Holy Spirit, both will guide us in life and enable a ‘good conscience.’ Our faith, founded in Christ, will keep our eyes fixed on God. Faith though needs to be exercised to be strong just like any muscle within our bodies. Working at our relationship with God and our place in His Church is therefore essential. When storms come we will know where we stand, when other false doctrines are suggested we will know the answer. Standing in Christ, in His Church, will help us to avoid the shipwreck of our faith.
To Ponder: God changes our being to be more Christlike as we grow in our relationship with Him. Our being directs our doing, our doing if in obedience produces assurance. What steps can you take to remain strong in faith with a good conscience and therefore overcome in the battle of faith?
Prayer; Lord as we face the storms of life and battle in a fog of understanding grant us by your grace a good conscience and strong faith. Empower us by your Holy Spirit to hold fast to Jesus Christ and in doing so to reveal your love and truth to others to the glory of your Name. Amen
Praise: Will your anchor hold
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