1 Timothy 4 warns us that “some will depart from the faith….devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons….insincerity of liars….forbid marriage….require abstinence from foods”. That is a sad truth. The question we need to ask is ‘will it be me – will I be one of the ones who jumps ship and leaves my faith’? Someone will – scripture is clear about that – and before we say it won’t be me remember what happened to Peter as he denied Jesus three times the night before He was crucified. We will be tempted and led astray by some teaching lies. The enemy will tempt us to leave what we have believed and walk away. Are you ready for that? Are you completely in line with God’s truth?
So what can we do to get ready? “Train yourself for godliness”. We have to realize that being spiritually fit takes work – we have to train for it. If we want to be godly we have to focus on building ourselves up – working on the spiritual disciplines daily. “While bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come”. Many of us are exercising daily – we are on a real regimen to build up our physical bodies and create physical health. We spend tens of thousands of dollars and hundred of hours to do so. How much are you investing in your spiritual health? How many dollars and hours are you investing? I bet not nearly as much. What if you truly trained to grow spiritually like you do in other areas? Why? Because spiritual training has value today and for eternity. You can’t say that about our physical body. We need to get with the program!
Paul goes on to remind us that “our hope is set on the living God” and there are some things we need to be doing to truly succeed as Christ Followers in this world. “Command and teach these things….set the believers an example in speech….in conduct….in love….in faith….in purity…. devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture….to exhortation….to teaching….Do not neglect the gift you have….Practice these things….devote yourself to them….Keep a close watch on yourself….Persist in this”. Strong words from Paul. We have to not only build spiritual discipline ourselves – to train and learn and keep working at it in our own lives – but we have to train others – set examples – push people and help them walk in faith as well. We have a job to do as Christ Followers – we are to be devoted to the faith and those in our patch. We have to become spiritually strong and then lead those around us to do the same. Who are you exhorting to become strong in their faith? Who are you leading and modeling strong spiritual disciplines for? It is important and we need to do it well!