Our good friend and fellow Rebelutionary, Samuel Dye (who has an excellent blog, btw), sent us the following blog post, originally posted here. This is just the sort of reminder that all Christians need to hear frequently (if not constantly); so, we at Rebelutionary Musings heartily recommend the following to you and thank Samuel for bringing it to our attention.
Do not entangle yourself with the affairs of this life
Timothy 2:4: "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him."
I have started to read the book ‘The shadow of the Almighty,’ and there are many amazing verses which Jim Elliot talks about. This is one of them. His life is such a challenge and a call to live a life that is totally devoted to the Lord. This is far easier said than done. It is easy to say ‘I want to give my all to the Lord’ but it’s another thing entirely to put that into action. We need the Lord’s help with this.
In this verse (2 Tim 2:4), it is such a challenge to live a life that is devoted to God. We are in a battle. A battle against the evil one -- the devil. A battle against sin. A battle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and the rulers of darkness in this world. We, as Christians, are in a battle for the Lord. When we accepted Christ as our Savior, we joined the ranks of God’s Army. We fight for the souls of men. We fight to fulfill the Great Commission which Jesus gave to us.
Then, we come to this verse. It starts by clarifying who this verse is to. It is to them that are taking part in this war. This war to live a devoted life for the Lord and to cut off any influence of the evil one from our lives. Again, a very hard thing to do, but we have God on our side.
What an incredible thought. It says in this verse that in our lives as Christians not to ‘entangle ourselves with the affairs of this life.’ None of the things in this life should even get our attention, let alone sway us. Let us not entangle or get ourselves caught up in the things of this life. Fix your eyes on God. Fix your eyes on heaven. Fix your eyes on eternity. Not things temporal.
We should do this not so that we look like super-Christians or so that we look really amazing. All this is so ‘that he (the Christian) may please Him (God) who hath chosen him.’ We do all this for God. It is God that deserves all the glory, honour and praise. We need to have a singular vision. A vision or mindset that is set upon the Lord and things of Him. On things eternal, not temporal. A man with a singular vision was Jim Elliot. He coined the well known saying at the age of 22 ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.’ Jim Elliot ended up giving up his life for the Lord, doing what the Lord had called him to do.
Don’t entangle yourself with the affairs of this life that you may please Him!
Amen to those wise words! This post naturally (and necessarily) begs the practical question of "what does this mean and look like when applied in everyday life?” That is an enormous question though and is, quite literally, I believe, impossible to fully answer in book or blog form. There is one certain constant though in seeking answers to the above question, and it is that a positive approach to the question (not, "what is worldly?" but rather, "what is of God?") will bring us back to the Gospel and God's Word. And that is never a bad place to begin searching for answers. :-)