But as for you [Timothy], continue in what you have learned.”
When the Apostle Paul penned his second letter to Timothy time was short. He could feel the executioner’s breath on his neck. Knowing this was his last correspondence with his spiritual son, Paul chose his words carefully. These were important words. He didn’t want Timothy to miss it. In the first couple of chapters, Paul encourages Timothy to, “fear not, be strong in the grace that is in Jesus Christ, hold fast, endure hardness as a good soldier, study to show himself approved, shun profane and vain words, and flee youthful lusts.” But then, in chapter three, Paul gives Timothy a prophetic warning.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV)
Sounds like the daily news! Paul understood fully the direction that society was headed and the battles Timothy would be facing. He knew there would be times when the whole world would be against him and he would be forced to stand alone, that he was going to have to fight for the things he knew were right. What battles are you in? What has come against you? Where do you feel defeated?
Continuing his prophetic warning, Paul tells Timothy that, “Evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned” (2 Timothy 3:13-14).
By saying those words “But as for you,” Paul is letting Timothy know that regardless of the world’s direction and pressures, he is set apart for a higher purpose. At times, this means standing alone against the tide of evil and making conscious choices to fight the fight of faith.
As men in today’s culture we, too, have been called to a higher purpose and be assured, we will often be called to stand alone against the rising tide of evil. When we do, we shouldn’t expect the world to applaud. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18 NKJ). “Our hope is not in men but in the living God, who is the savior of all men” (1 Timothy 4:10).
This devotional is an excerpt from Ignite Your Faith by Dr. Tim Clinton & Max Davis.