But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of the faith, lay hold on the life eternal, whereunto thou wast called, and didst confess the good confession in the sight of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:11, 12 ASV)
To strive toward the prize, the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, there are four things we need to do that are mentioned in these two verses.
1. Flee “flee these things”
A. I am not speaking of cowardice here. Sometimes, as in the example of covetousness in the previous verses, the most courageous thing to do is flee. Like Joseph with Potiphar’s wife, there are times when our best resistance is to flee. That’s why in 1 Corinthians 10:13 Paul said the Lord will, when we are tempted, provide a way of escape.
2. Follow “follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness”
A. it is not enough to run away from sin. We have to run toward something else. We are not running in a panic. We need to deliberately run to righteousness and the other fruit of the Spirit mentioned here. Remember that this step is only possible if we first flee the other things.
3. Fight “Fight the good fight of the faith”
A. What kind of fight is a “good fight”? One we win! And for that to happen, it needs to be a fight of faith. We don’t battle against flesh and blood (Eph 6) so the best place to fight is on our knees, wielding the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
4. Finish. “lay hold on the life eternal”
A. This is no passive finish. This is a deliberate laying hold of eternal life. It’s a white knuckled grip where we are intentional about laying hold of eternal life. Only then will we fulfill our calling in God. None of our efforts will matter if we do not finish the course!
The key to victory in this life is to flee, follow, fight, and finish. but none of this will happen unless you first start the journey? Do you believe Jesus Christ was exactly who he claimed to be? That he died for your sins and rose again? Will you repent of those sins and follow after Christ? And will you “confess the good confession in the sight of many witnesses” and then be baptized into Christ? Then begin today!