Freedom Follows Following: Guidance for Living and Leading Spiritually

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Flee, Pursue, Fight, and Take Hold

1 Timothy 6:11-16 (NIV)
11 
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

Pursue

A pursuit is active and targeted not passive and aimless. 

4 Reasons for Pursuit

1. We live in a sinful world. 

2. We have an active enemy. 

John 10:9,10 (NIV)
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 

(MSG) I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. Jesus in our life counteracts our enemy.

 

3. Heart drift is real.

Passivity can’t overcome the drift of normal life issues. 

John16:33 (MSG)
“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” 

4. No target, No bullseye.

“If you don’t have a target you will hit it every time.” 

2 Timothy 2:1-3 (NIV)
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

6 Things we are to pursue…

1. Righteousness

Romans 12:2 AMP
And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

2. Godliness

3. Faith

“Faith means abandoning all trust in one’s resources. Faith means casting oneself unreservedly on the mercy of God. Faith means laying hold on the promises of God in Christ, relying entirely on the finished work of Christ on the cross for salvation and on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God for daily strength. Faith implies complete reliance on God and full obedience to God.” 

4. Love

 “What the World Needs Now is Love”
- Burt Bacharach and Hal David, released by Jackie DeShannon 

What the world needs now is love, sweet love.
It's the only thing that there's just too little of.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.

Lord, we don't need another mountain.
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb.
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross,
enough to last till the end of time.

Lord, we don't need another meadow.
There are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow.
There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine.
Oh listen, lord, if you want to know.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love.
It's the only thing that there's just too little of.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.
No, not just for some, oh, but just for everyone.

5. Endurance

1 Co 9:24-27 (MSG)
24-25 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.  I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

6. Gentleness

1 Timothy 6:12
Fight
the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 

Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.