If you look closely at this cheetah, you’ll see that he’s not looking at where he’s going to place his feet or what’s coming along behind him. He’s solely focused on his prey.
What are you pursuing just as intently in your life? Graduation? A degree? A career? A promotion? Wealth? A toned body?
Of all of the things we could pursue in this life, there are some much more valuable than others. Here are just two verses giving us a sampling of what we should be pursuing:
“But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.“ (1 Timothy 6:11)
“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
In addition to telling us what to pursue, both of these verses actually begin with a command to flee from something else!
What are “all these evil things” mentioned in 1 Timothy 6:11? They are discussed in the previous paragraph: “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:9-10) Beware the desire for wealth and prosperity! It can easily lead you from where God wants to take you, and from the way He wants to use you for his purposes and glory.
Put together, these two verses call for us to pay attention!! We need to be aware of and run away from what’s out to get us, while remaining focused on chasing after a life that pleases God with cheetah-like concentration.
This life has a great many distractions that try to lull us into complacency, while living intentionally takes a lot of effort. We tend to be just like water — we’d much rather take the path of least resistance! But Jesus said, “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
Salvation is a free gift for anyone who wants to accept it. On the other hand, living a godly life as a child of God takes work on our part! Paul put it this way: “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8) We’re in training. Are we willing to put effort into our spiritual training now for the benefits to come?
Spend a bit of time with God today, asking him to show you what’s in your heart.
- Is there something that’s been trying to sneak up on you that you need to run away from as fast as you can?
- What does He want you to intently pursue in this season of your life? Search the Bible for other Scriptures related to that goal, and ask God to help you focus on and work toward it.
- Righteousness/a godly life
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. ~ Philippians 3:12-14
Train well, friends!