Flee, Then Follow!
“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
Flee, and then follow. This command calls for a deliberate choice. We are to flee youthful lusts like Joseph fled when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him (Gen. 39:7-19). “Flee” denotes a sense of urgency to run from that which is dangerous and destructive. Just as we flee physical danger to save our bodies from harm, so we are to flee spiritual danger to save our spirits from harm.
In the process, our choice often keeps others from harm. Joseph’s choice kept himself from moral destruction. If we are to run away from youthful lusts, then where should we go? The challenge to flee implies that you should head somewhere else. Paul’s words to young Timothy invoke us to “follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace.” This should be the norm for the Christian whose heart has been purified by calling on the Lord.
We became a changed person immediately we accept Christ, our attitude, communication and the way we relate to things around us should change. We are not of the world anymore, and we ought to be spiritually active in each of our dealings. In our contemporary society, following one’s lustful preferences is encouraged and even applauded but leads to the opposite of what God wants us to do.
We celebrate the world more than the word. And we are to flee such a broad road of sinfulness and follow with urgency the way of righteousness laid out for the pure in heart. Flee, then follow. That is the encouragement for believers. 2 Timothy 2:21 says, “If anyone cleanses himself of what is unfit, he will be a vessel for honor: sanctified, useful to the Master, and prepared for every good work.”
1. Father, may Your Holy Spirit fill me with a sense of urgency to flee destructive and sinful lusts and to follow Your way of righteousness.
2. 1 Timothy 1:14: May the grace of our Lord overflowed to you, to flee lust, and then follow righteousness with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.