2 Timothy 4: 3-5. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.
As you continue your Christian spiritual journey, understand that many of the day-to-day cares of the world will not support your journey. You will need to interject God into daily human rituals that don’t consider God first. Think of your average day. If you are in the habit of turning on the morning news, how many news shows begin with a prayer? If you drive to work, how many of your fellow drivers are showing love and compassion to you in their driving techniques? In school, do your classmates treat you with love as a fellow child of God? As you shop for groceries are your fellow shoppers behaving as considerate Christians?
The number of non-Christian images thrust at us every day can be overwhelming. Whether you are at work, in school, watching or streaming television or movies, on social media, shopping for groceries, etc. you will see one common theme. The world does not openly acknowledge God in many of our daily common activities. Our government is not focused on incorporating Godly principles into how we are governed. As Timothy states, we are focused on following our own human desires.
How do we overcome the power of the World? It takes maximum effort and you must work at it hourly. Not just every Sunday via church services. The focus of the World is to tell us from a worldly standpoint what we need and what we should do while we are alive in the world. We are bombarded with that message every hour of every day. The focus of the World does not include telling us to prepare for life after death through our spiritual journey. How do we manage the world around us? As Timothy says “keep a clear mind in every situation.”
During the last year of my work career, every week I would travel from Indianapolis to my last employer in St. Louis, Missouri. I would live and work in St. Louis during the week and then return to Indianapolis for the weekend. When driving to and from St. Louis, my journey on I 70 would take me past Effingham, Illinois and a large tall white cross built next to the highway. 198 feet tall and 113 feet wide. Every time I saw the cross it served as a reminder of where my focus should be as I traveled to work or returned from my week’s work in St. Louis. It was a reminder that God created us and is in control, even if we don’t acknowledge Him in our daily lives. The view of the cross was a” reboot” to my mind allowing me to refocus and manage whatever thoughts were on my mind.
Timothy reminds us that it does take “work” to share the Good News with others. Managing how the world influences us takes work on our part. We have to filter out what is not of God and search for what is of God in every situation. Not all of us have the luxury of seeing a nearly 200-foot cross to remind us to reboot and refocus. In your personal life seek to create a visible landmark and reminder that helps you reboot and manage what you allow from the outside world into your spiritual life. It could be a scripture verse you keep in your pocket. Or it could be a Christian themed bracelet or necklace that you wear every day. Whatever your choice, begin to manage the world around you. Work at deciding what worldly information comes into your world and what worldly information is kept out. Work to keep a clear mind in every situation.