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September 8, 2019 | Christopher Yuan
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“Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”—2 Timothy 2:22 NKJV
It’s perhaps the best-kept secret when it comes to the Christian life. There are those who spend an entire lifetime within a stone’s throw of the church, who dutifully attend for decades without discovering it. Many, unfortunately, devote themselves to serving in the ministry, unaware of the transformative truth that’s hiding in plain sight before them.
What is it? Well, it’s visible in the passage above, written by Paul to his trusted understudy, Timothy. Look closely and you will see a two-sided coin, a double-edged blade that cuts both ways, as it were. It’s this reality that our Christian faith doesn’t merely consist of us fleeing from sinful things like lust. But it also involves us passionately pursuing other things . . . things like righteousness, faith, love, and peace.
This is the big secret that hides in plain sight all too often within the Christian realm; our faith is about what we are called to more than what we’re called from. It is a lifestyle to be primarily defined by positive action, not negative prohibition. It is about what we get to do more so than what we’re not allowed to do.
Of course, a separation from sin has to happen. But this is just the first step in our walk with God; a first step that needs to be followed by many more heading in His direction. Unfortunately, many stop short. They read the “flee also youthful lusts,” but they don’t go on to “pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace.”
That’s not the Christian life. Separation from sin must be followed up by separation unto God. We need to be occupied with the infinite and inexhaustible blessings found in Him. In fact, and we all know this to be true, if we just turn from sin without turning to something as great as God, our natural bent will be to turn right back into sin.
Sin always fills a vacuum. We have not been called to vacuous lives, but victorious lives that are full of God, not just empty of sin. Relationally, the application is clear. Purity can only be achieved through pursuit . . . pursuit of God’s presence. This is the secret that can’t be a secret any longer. It needs to be proclaimed, starting with our own lives as we pursue the things of God and are defined by His presence and not just sin’s absence.
DIG: What is the best kept secret in the Christian life?
DISCOVER: Is your faith defined more by what you’re called from or to?
DISPLAY: How can your pursuit of God be demonstrated?