“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith…” 1 Timothy 6:11-12a
When John was 10 years old he spent almost every moment of summer daylight outside with his three friends doing what most active 10 year old boys do: Play whiffle ball, other sports, ride bikes, go to the lake, explore the woods, shoot BB guns, build forts and any other activity that allowed them to run, build and compete. There would be a brief stop at home for lunch most days, but other than that the four of them were busy.
Except for about 15 minutes almost each day.
Depending on where they were they would take a break in the afternoon to run into whoever’s house they happened to be closest to, in order to grab a drink and a snack. That was always fine at three of the homes where the moms were home, but Billy’s parents both worked. Billy house was empty. When they took that 15 minute break at Billy’s house, there was the drink, there was the snack and then there was Billy’s dad’s stack of Playboy magazines. Sounds innocent enough. Boys will be boys right?
The problem for John was the images of those women he saw remained in his mind. It is almost like they were tattooed into his brain. He couldn’t get them out of his thoughts and now John finds himself 30 years later still unable to break the pattern of lust in his life. With the easy access to such images and videos on the internet he has battled on and off with pornography. Despite being married. Despite having children. Despite being a committed follower of Christ. He’ll go months at a time free from lusting and then fall back into it for weeks at a time. He’s ashamed, he feels defeated and this all despite the fact that he has cried out to God over and over again for deliverance.
15 minutes every few days or so. That’s all it took to destroy countless hours, days, months and years of his life.
Where have you lowered your guard or your morals for 15 minutes? You deserved it right? You’ve been working hard. What’s 15 minutes? Lust is just one area of deception that our enemy uses. It’s alcohol or drugs. It’s gossip. It’s rage. It’s an inappropriate relationship. It’s the season tickets. It’s that spur of the moment trip to the mall. It’s talking behind someone’s back. All it takes is 15 minutes and you can find that 15 minutes costing you a huge chunk of your life.
There are certain things we must flee in life and God’s word tells us of these things. Not to punish us, but to save our lives! We flee certain things and instead pour our hearts and minds into pursuing other things. 1 Timothy 6:11 tells us some of those things to pursue: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Other verses also tell us to pursue peace.
Spiritual warfare requires relentless pursuit of these things in order to fight this good fight. When you need a 15 minute break, which we all do, be sure to take that break in a place of safety. Either surrounded by others that fight with you or in a place that does not offer you the resources to fuel your destruction.
Following Christ and pursuing the life He has bought for you on the cross is possible through the power of His might. Flee sin, Pursue God and you’ll be free.
Keep Fighting, Persevere, Never Lose Hope – Pastor Eric