1 Timothy 1:18-19- “Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to faith.”
Every now and then, I reread an old post on something that I needed in the moment. Last night, I have to admit that I was feeling a little weary. Wondering if it was time to let go of what I was believing God for. It’s been a long time since the promise was spoken. But as I begin to think about the promises of God and how faithful He has been, my faith was stirred. So I went through my old posts, remembering I had written on shipwrecked faith, and I read it. I was so encouraged, I thought that I should just share it again, in case you missed it!
When I think of shipwrecked faith, I immediately think of someone who believed God for something and became so discouraged after a time that they lost all hope of ever seeing their desire come to pass. Maybe that has been or is you! I want to share something with you today!
What is Paul telling Timothy? First, Paul tells him to recall to mind the prophecies that were spoken over him. Most of us hear a prophecy and get excited over it, but if it doesn’t happen within a certain timeframe we forget it or say it wasn’t God. But Paul is telling Timothy, “You have to keep recalling it!” What has been spoken over you about your life, your family, your ministry, or your health that has encouraged you but it hasn’t come to pass yet? Start rehearsing it!
Why? Because Paul said in rehearing it, you might fight the battle well. What battle, you might ask? The battle that the enemy is going to wage in your life and your mind to negate the prophetic word over you. Remember, scripture teaches us that the enemy comes for the word! (Mark 4:15) So you have to lay spiritual hold of the word and receive it and rehearse because the devil, your adversary, will come to steal it.
Then Paul says, hold on to your faith and a good conscience. I have heard this type of faith described as bulldog faith. Have you ever seen a bulldog get something in his mouth? Then someone comes along and tries to take it? Well, if you haven’t you should YouTube it. When a bulldog has something in his mouth, his intent is to keep it, and so he latches on to it, making it nearly impossible for someone to take it from him. That’s the faith Paul is talking about. A faith that says I absolutely am not letting go of this word from God that He spoke to me through His servant! Holding on is not passive, but aggressive. Who holds on to a ledge passively? Who holds on to a lifeline passively? No one who wants to live!
What’s a good conscience? I like to call it, keeping your heart right! A faith battle is a battle in your mind and in your spirit. If you allow your conscience to become polluted, it pollutes your faith. So you have to keep your heart right during the process as you hold on to faith. They go hand in hand.
My husband and I were recently talking about offense. He’s reading Bevere’s book, “The Bait of Satan,” and so we were discussing offenses. And as we were doing so he shared that people in offense blame others for their situations. “This person is holding me back!” “I could’ve been great if this person would have helped me,” and so forth and so on. Pretty much like Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent! But this is where many lose the battle. After buying the lies of the enemy, sin enters, and instead of owning up to them, we blame others for our problems. Even if that other person is God!
Years ago, I was working in a school when my principal began asking me to help with different things in the building. After a couple years, she needed an assistant principal. Well, I wasn’t sure I wanted the position, but I was sure I wanted to be asked. But I wasn’t. As a matter of fact, I was disappointed when I wasn’t. For about 20 seconds! Then the Lord spoke to me, “Promotion comes from the Lord,” and I knew He was saying this was not mine to have. So I immediately released it. When others brought it up to me, I refused to speak negatively about her choice and worked to continue giving my assistance to her. I could’ve become angry and bitter over it, but God gave me a word, and I trusted it. Even all these years later, when I have still not been promoted in the natural realm, I have chosen to trust God. He later told me that my promotion was approved, and so, I just keep reminding myself of that. It is so!
Paul let Timothy know that when this advice is rejected people tend to become shipwrecked in their faith. They get to a point where they become embittered by some perceived wrong from God, and they lose faith. Their hopes are dashed upon the rocks of disappointment, frustration, and weariness. And before long, a shipwreck has occurred!
The promised healing that takes too long! The promised husband that seems to never cross your path! The promised promotion keeps going to someone else! The promised provision never appeared, and now you are in bankruptcy. All those things that are real and important and pressing in your life but didn’t happen; and now you feel as if God has failed you, lied to you, abandoned you! Well, He hasn’t!
He is faithful! His word is true! And He is not the problem! Shipwrecked faith is the problem. Somewhere along the route of life, you stop believing the promise or stopped holding on to your faith, or stopped having a good conscience, and that is why your faith is shipwrecked. Paul never told Timothy that faith becomes shipwrecked because God delays, but because we don’t hold on to our faith, keeping our hearts right and rehearsing or confessing the word He gave to us!
If you are feeling like your faith is shipwrecked or heading in that direction, change the course of your faith by following Paul’s advice to Timothy! Don’t become a statistic of discouragement, become a bulldog of faith and stay on course! God will come through for you! Wonderful Jesus!