“But you, O man of God, FLEE these things and PURSUE righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:11 NKJV
“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing…” 1 Timothy 6:3-4a NKJV
If you examine this second scripture after looking at Paul’s charge in the first, you will begin to understand his reasoning for starting his six point admonition to Timothy with the command to “flee” certain things. There is a “slippery slope” believers, ministers and churches must avoid, which is meant to trick them into pursuing the wrong things!
I want you to notice the great lengths the apostle goes to in making sure we are familiar with this process. In the first ten verses of the chapter, leading up to our text on the importance of being a true man of God in verse eleven, we are given a list of things that go wrong when Christians are afraid to commit. As you read on, you find the central issue to be one of complacency versus contentment.
If a godly leader is content, or satisfied separate from and regardless of outward conditions, he or she will be able to follow the call of God bravely. If not, this person will go deeper into deception at the rate by which they continue to act contrary to their conscience and betray themselves.
The word content is found twice, once in verse 6 and again in verse 8. Taken together, the literal meaning of these words suggests a kind of spiritual self-satisfaction that raises a barrier of confidence around God’s man, causing him to be competent in his undertakings. Now you know why Satan works so hard inside local churches and ministries to create atmospheres of discontent!
Today, we see discontentment everywhere, and before Jesus returns it is going to lead many to forsake Him altogether. If you look closely, you will see how this downhill slide begins with a refusal to suffer properly in verses one and two then progresses quickly into much more obvious and open forms of sin. Because the wrong is not resisted in the beginning, it is not recognized in its latter stages.
The devil traps God’s people into a process of running into the very things they should be running from! As you know, this is not going to get better before Jesus returns, it’s going to get a lot worse…see the signs in scripture and catch early what to pursue and what to run from so discontentment and other sin doesn’t slide into to you or your church!