“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; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.”I Timothy 1:18-20
I remember having rituals prior to a soccer game as I would go through my pre-game routine. I would go to my goalie and key players on the team, and I would tell them it’s time to shut em’ down. I would charge them to get their mind right and get ready for the game ahead. I remember our games mostly being on Fridays, and I now prepare for a different battle on Fridays. I don’t know what it is, but I often receive bad news on Friday. It could be petty drama or someone telling me of a traumatic event in their life. We used to pretend that our soccer games were a metaphor for war, but we truly are engaged in a spiritual war.
Paul is charging Timothy and telling him to “shut it down” in his own way. He is encouraging him to prepare himself for battle and to do well in the battle. We are encouraged to hold to the faith and have a good conscience. There is nothing more disturbing to a good night’s sleep than a guilty conscience, and nothing is sweeter than a clear conscience before God.
Paul points out two individuals who brought shame and metaphorical shipwreck to their lives. I can think of some people in my life who have strayed from the faith and are spiritually shipwrecked. People who choose their selfish ambitions over a love for God. Paul saw the miserable end for these who had strayed just as we can see that the road is out on the path to sin. It does take long or much to get off course, and we must be vigilant that our compass points to Him alone. We must wage battle against the enemy, and we must war a good warfare.
Where are you headed today friend? Are you headed for shipwreck? Are you holding to the faith? Do you have a clear conscience before God? Are you in the battle against the enemy or are you on his side as the war wages on? May we faithfully finish our mission and die holding onto the weapons of our warfare. May the world know whose side we are on, and may we fight the good fight of faith.