Are your legs a little wobbly lately? Are you wondering how much longer you can stand up for the truth? Perhaps some of your friends who once stood with you are no longer standing. So far, you haven’t caved-in to the pressure, but it has crossed your mind. “Why bother? Is it really that important? Couldn’t I still enjoy the Lord if I gave in and went too? Am I just trying to be a martyr or a hero or is there a real reason to stick with it?”
The Apostle Paul charged younger Timothy not to waffle on truth or wobble under pressure.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Timothy 6:12-14
Yes, Timothy – you’ll feel the brutal attacks and backstabbing of those belittling your faith and devotion. You will be tempted to cave-in under the pressure and conform to the mediocrity all around you. You will feel the hurt and pain of those who once stood with you, when they drop out or move-on. You’ll see others who have no respect for the truth, prosper and grow rich, while you try to do what is right and yet live a materially meager life.
Timothy, it’s a real fight for the faith. Don’t give an inch on truth! Work through the issues that have more to do with personal or local preferences, practises, peculiarities, personalities, or even politics. But don’t wobble on the truth. Just remember all those who witnessed you launch out into the Christian life. They all saw your single-minded devotion to Christ and the truth. Don’t start having second thoughts at this stage of the journey.
And then to anchor and secure his charge to Timothy, Paul introduces the most compelling reason of all for ‘standing for the truth.’
The solitary Man stood alone before the Roman Governor as the religious people hurled their false accusations and leveled their brutal assaults against Him. Neither Peter nor John stood at His side for moral support. Alone He stood. Pilate was amazed at His conduct during the barrage of allegations and was convinced of His innocence.
By the time Jesus was handed over to Pilate, His face had already been bruised and spit upon during the earlier blindfold game. Pilate questions Him. Calmly, with conviction, Jesus responds. Despite the zeal of the Jewish authorities and the power of the Roman Government, Jesus was not intimidated. Clearly and succinctly, He said what needed to be said. He spoke not only the truth but about the truth.
Pilate had the accused Man flogged but the lashes never produced a confession or concession or compromise or a collapse of His will – even under such intense suffering. Pilate continued to be personally touched at His composure and His unwavering faithfulness – despite the hostile barrage of humiliating condemnations and brutal physical assaults.
Eventually Pilate caved-in to the pressure. He succumbed to the tactics. He went with the majority vote – even though he personally believed the Man was innocent.
Timothy, don’t you go with the flow. Keep in the forefront of your mind your blessed Saviour. Before Pontius Pilate, He never waffled, wobbled or wavered – even though death would be the outcome.
The most powerful motivator for us to do what is right is Christ Himself. Keep Him before your eyes and you will be able to withstand the intense pressure you are experiencing at this time.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
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