S104P4 – The disciple Timothy: prepared at all times

2 Tim. 4:1-4

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word!  Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

He finished his martial arts career as an undefeated champion.  Not only was he undefeated while champion, but he never lost a professional fight ever.  He was speaking about the current state of the sport and the fighters who have reached the top today.  His impression was that many champions think they can climb the summit then simply coast until it is time to get ready for the next fight.  As someone who no longer fights but still works to train other fighters, he had a much different and smarter approach.  He believed that the mind of a champion should be to train at all times, not just in anticipation of the next fight.  Perhaps that was how he amassed such an incredible record, by staying fresh and prepared in and out of season.

Timothy was called by God through Paul to be a soldier.  He was invited to join a war.  It is the same war that we carry on today, but there are times when it might not look like the fight still rages.  We can enter times of stillness and quiet that make us breathe a sigh of relief because the struggle has taken a pause.  We might think that those periods of stillness are for our rest, but they easily can become a trap of complacency.  The thing about our fight is that we never get the schedule.  We know that the enemy will rear his ugly head once more and then once more after that and then once more again, but we do not know when.  That is why it is so important to follow the instructions Paul gave to Timothy, instructions he would need to follow if he was to be successful in his calling.

We are to be training and ready to fight in and out of season.  We know there will be hills and valleys, bright times and darker times, but no one can say when these times will come.  The same way God asks us to be ready with an answer whenever we are questioned about this great hope we have, we also should be ready with our offense and defense when the battle comes our way.  We are always on deck, always one moment away from being called to the battlefield.  If we are wise, we will make it a point to stay there at all times by contending in prayer and feeding on the word as part of our continual fight and preparation for future battles.  Father, keep us engaged in the spiritual warfare that exists today, and help us to remain vigilant and prepare for every battle that is to come