Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Crumbling Tower

20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

22Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

God knows I have done enough thinking in the past month. There are times when it feels like a mountain is infront of me, and when I get to the peak, it collapses around me. While I slide down the steep embankment, God is faithful to remind me that I am not on my own personal mission, but on His.

That's a foundational difference. God has set before me a vision, and a dream; Any opposition acts as a litmus test for the vision I have in my own mind. Is it from me, or is it from God? What is it that the critic is saying? Are they challenging me based off of the desire to see me bettered, or attempting to hinder the dream at any cost? Are their criticisms valid, or are they flowing out of fear, or malice?

Paul knew exactly what he was saying when he wrote to Timothy. Don't let these people pull you down into the mire, that's not what is important. Keep your eyes on the horizon, keep running that race, and rid yourself of all the things that hold you back. Let your heart rest upon the only true, noble goal, God. This training is paramount to the mission on which Timothy is on, because it rids him of everything that will drag him into the mud.

Finally, and consequently, Timothy will learn to deal with these critics in a very Godly manner. Gently, but not weak. To instruct them in what God has to say, to lead them on to the vision God has placed on his heart. No deterrent. No hesitation. No looking back. Build up and support those who are around you, encourage them in the fight, that we may push the battle lines forward together, and realize that this mountain does not need to be climbed, it can be moved.

Youth is never a hindrance to the plans of God. In fact, the enthusiasm they bring to the table is often a boon. But that is a topic for another day.