1 Tim. 1:18-20” “18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme".
When we think of a soldier certain images come to our mind. I think of a warrior and a fighter; A skilled, disciplined, and honorable combatant that is highly motivated and self-controlled. Perhaps Paul was thinking about the same qualities when he wrote these words, “that by them you may wage the good warfare”. Paul likens this young pastor to a warrior of Christ, and urges him to make warfare with its arduous duties and functions. Not that he would battle in the flesh and blood, but rather in the spiritual realm, battling against powers and principalities.
Paul knew that in order to face the trials of this life Timothy, the young Pastor of the church of Ephesus, would need to engage his duties in the ministry with the same intensity and devotion that a combat solider would have. This world is not for the weak at heart. We as Christ-followers live in perilous times. There needs to be a strength that Christians must have. We are raising our kids in a world that wants to destroy them with drugs, pornography, gangs, violence, and immoral lifestyles. If we are to raise kids that are Jesus loving, sin hating, church going, bible believing, reaching out to this dark world, Christ-followers, then we need to raise the bar. We need to be the examples for the next generation. If we become warriors for Christ the way Paul wanted Timothy to be then we will become the positive influence on the next generation that is looking to us as examples. Are you a skilled, disciplined, and honorable combatant that is highly motivated and self-controlled? Or have you shipwrecked your faith?
If your faith is shipwrecked, who is watching and who is learning from that? Paul wrote that a good solider exercises faith and a good conscience. Are the people in your unit seeing you walk by faith and not by sight? Have you been navigating by your own power? The only navigation you need is Jesus. If you steer the boat then you are sure to fail.
Digging deeper – II Tim 2:1-4
Old Testament: Jer. 7-8 New Testament I Tim. 2