Obtaining God’s Promises
“This charge* I commit unto thee, son Timothy,
according to the prophecies which went before on thee,
that thou by them mightest war a good warfare…”
1 Timothy 1:18
The word translated “charge” in the above scripture is actually a command in the Greek (see note below). The promises of God are given to His own that, by receiving them, they may war rightly to see them come to pass. The promises of God require warfare to be real and vital in the lives of His own.
“And if a man also strive for masteries,
yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully”
2 Timothy 2:5
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul uses the Olympic athlete as an example to observe and be instructed thereby. Paul follows this statement declaring:
“Consider what I say;
and the Lord give thee understanding in all things”
2 Timothy 2:7
There is a striving and a contending for the crown of the call of God upon us. Few of God’s people comprehend the strenuous effort required in “laying hold” of the prize of our call in Christ. The apathy and the complacency of many is a source of suffering for those who know God. The sum of all the energies of Paul were expended in his pursuit of laying hold of God.
“Every man who strives in the games exercises self-control in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. I therefore run like that, not aimlessly. I fight like that, not beating the air, but I beat my body and bring it into submission, lest by any means, after I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected”. (“Unapproved, unworthy, spurious, worthless. In a passive sense meaning disapproved”)
1 Corinthians 9:25-27
Paul says he fights like that! He is fully involved (spirit, soul and body) in the fight of faith. He has one resolve in the entirety of his being. He is fully persuaded in his press to obtain the Crown OF Life to which he has been called. His life bears evidence of the faith and fire of God burning within! There is no value in glibly quoting the scriptures if we lack the evidence of faith in our daily life. How it must weary God that there be contentment in the quoting of scriptures without the corresponding evidence; but rather families out of order, poorly handled finances, lives lived in pursuit of other things, and an inability to impart the power of faith into the lives of those around them. Paul, in the passion of the Spirit of God, cries out:
“So run, that ye may obtain”!
1 Corinthians 9:24
The Christian life is not about just believing, it is about obtaining!
“Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible”
1 Cor. 9:25
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”. 1 Thess. 5:9
“Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”
2 Thess. 2:14 (what a staggering call)
“Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus…”
2 Timothy 2:10
“For by it the elders obtained a good report”
“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions…”
The list is too long and too precious to be listed without prayerful consideration of each one as a powerful truth. I am stirred this morning as I consider the grace and mercy of God, and the ethos of a generation who know little of the cost nor the power associated with the call of God. There is a generation who find contentment in words rather than a life of godliness.
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ”
How few understand the cry of Paul’s heart, “that I may win Christ”. To those who do not pursue the person of Christ, this statement will be an enigma and a mystery. There will be an inability to see the pure truth contained within its wonder. The secret of the Lord is with them who fear Him, and it is to such that He reveals His Covenant (Psalm 25:14). The power of this Word ignites a hunger within and a thirst which cannot be quenched. Oh, the folly of words without fire, purpose without passion, and a powerless Christian gospel which does not birth a singular pursuit of Him! Life lived outside the grip of the fire of His love is meaningless and vain. He is the One Object of our faith; He is the Pearl of Great Price; He is the Fire which burns within.
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
Those who bear His Fire
Shine forth His Light;
For the Light without
Is evidence of the Fire within.
“But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay”
parangelia (G3852), “a proclamation, a command or commandment,” is strictly used of commands received from a superior and transmitted to others. It is rendered “charge” in Act 16:24; 1Th 4:2, RV (where the word is in the plural); 1Ti 1:5 (RV) and 1Ti 1:18. In Act 5:28 the lit. meaning is “Did we not charge you with a charge? Vines New Testament Dictionary