“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”Timothy 2:22
I remember back to the time when I was a young man, and I think back to the foolish things I thought were important – times when we would go to camp and scope out the girls from other churches. Sadly, we were not looking for girls who were godly, but were looking for the prettiest girls in camp. We would judge every girl on how attractive they were, and we would gather together and share notes. We were attracted to the opposite sex by our youthful lusts, and not out of a pure heart.
I remember a fire drill we had at work, and I was busy working. I was told to leave my desk but I was not yet done with what I was working on. I reluctantly left my desk and followed everyone else out to the fire exits. In a real fire, it is not important to finish what you are working on, but to flee the building in order to escape the fire. If you foolishly stay in the building, you will succumb to the smoke and die. There is no pursuing your work, but rather pursuing safety and fleeing the danger. Youthful lusts are the same way and must not be toyed with – we must find the nearest exits and flee.
I think back to some friends who pursued these youthful lusts and started families they were ill-prepared to start. I saw the Devil work in their lives and I was quite aware as he was working in my thoughts as well. The world told me it was okay to have these lustful thoughts, but God often convicted me of my ungodly thought life. Camp was always a time where God dealt with me, and He would often remind me that He desired purity from me.
In adulthood, I have been challenged as well in fleeing youthful lusts as the Devil is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Paul challenged Timothy to flee youthful lusts because it is the net the Devil uses to draw us in. We must not dabble or play with sin, but like Joseph did, flee from that which would take us away from our God. The world will say, “Just do it!” but God desires that we flee from such ungodly pursuits. Our hearts are to be pure before God and we are to follow after righteousness, faith, charity, peace. We often tend to stop sinning because of the consequences, but our main goal should be not to sin against our God.
What are you pursuing? Are you fleeing youthful lusts, or are you succumbing to the desires of your flesh? Satan always taints that which God has ordained. Will you follow after the things of God? Will you pursue after that which is right? A moment of fulfilling our lusts is not worth the cost of separation from our God. May we pursue the things of God, and may we flee youthful lusts. May we follow the lead of Joseph as, “He left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.”