FULFILLING GOD’S WILL
You’re Worth More Than “It”
Pastor Jack Hayford uses the passage found in 1 Timothy 1:1-18 to help us confront whatever “It” is that is holding us back from fulfilling God’s will in our lives.
We are called to confront whatever “it” is that would hinder the secure purpose of God’s will being fulfilled in our lives; whatever would remove or reduce hope for the fulfillment of what we were made to be. “It” manifests itself in many ways. Usually, in the things we think and feel, in attitudes that begin to creep in around the edges of our minds. Rarely will “it” present itself in a confrontational way. The letters “I” and “T” might represent “it.” For example, “I’m tired,” “I’m trapped,” “I’m through,” “I’m too…” (weak, sick, faithless, etc.).
With that said, no one has greater promise before them than we do as believers. Neither is there anyone with reason for higher hopes, larger potential, or a more certain future. The authority of the Word of God is enunciated, illustrated, and elaborated in the entire Bible, but specifically in Paul’s first letter to Timothy.
The Apostle Paul wrote Timothy because he was facing his “it.” It was, “I don’t know how I can follow somebody like Paul.” Timothy was assuming Paul’s pastorate. Paul had founded the church. Timothy was not without experience, but he certainly did not have the veteran experience of Paul. Now Paul was gone. There had evidently been a communication from Timothy to Paul; now Paul is responding. Observe how he called Timothy to live up to his own name, “Timothy.”
Fulfilling God’s Will: Living Up to Your Name
Timothy was called to live up to his name and we are called to do the same as we pursue fulfilling God’s will in our lives.
The meaning behind Timothy’s name:
- Timothy is derived from two Greek words.
- Timao, verb for “to honor” or “to establish worth;”
- Theos, or “God.”
- Timothy means “to be honored by God.”
- In each name there is a prophecy.
Even though it isn’t our legal name, we can all adopt the truth of the meaning of Timothy as meaning about our own lives. Paul exhorted Timothy to stay where he was, not to let circumstances thwart, taunt, press him back, distress, or seem an obstacle to him.
More about Timothy
- The name relates more to value than it does to honor.
Value is what establishes the degree of honor that is paid. The real foundation of the Timao is the concept of worth placed on a person. We can be deceived by the amount of worth society places on us (i.e., our salaries) — either an inflated sense of our worth on those terms or the reduced apparent worth. Timao has to do with the true worth of our lives.
Once the true worth of what God has placed in each of us even slightly begins to be perceived, it changes how we view any of the “its” that face us. There comes a new sense of esteem, the acceptance of the fact that the meaning of the name Timothy applies to us. It means “honored by God.” Not that the Deity is marveled by the wonder of who we are, but that the Living God, knowing what He has invested in us will not dishonor what He has designed.
The Idea of Penalty
- This idea was used in the court systems in that ancient day.
It was used when exacting penalty for a committed crime or violation of social law. A certain violation needed a proportionate penalty. This should help us realize the enormous intrinsic worth that is clearly apparent. God designed it in us and paid a clear price to recover what we lost because of our sins. God never loses sight of the wealth He placed in us, the design that He has in us, and the desire He has to see every part of both fulfilled.
The “its” in our lives begin to crush out life and blind our vision to the possibility of any hope. That’s why the Father sent His Son. In dying, Jesus suffered to pay the price of the penalty of sin. He was laid down as a payment that says to us, “This is what you’re worth in My plan.” That worth is impossible to eradicate in the mind of God. His Holy Spirit comes to speak it into us over and over, drawing us to the recognition that He has put such purpose in us. No power can challenge it; no lie can tell us we can’t “handle it.”
The Heartbeat Behind Fulfilling God’s Will
Paul says to Timothy, “I urge you…remain..,” stay there, don’t back away, so (vs. 18) “…you may wage the good warfare…according to the prophecies previously made concerning you…”
- Prophecy: The Bible doesn’t deal with prophecy only in the sense of future historical events, or of events that were prophesied. We see these once future, but now past, events and marvel that God fulfilled what He said He would do.
- The Holy Spirit speaks to people about themselves in many ways: In personal Bible reading something may rise in our hearts to tell us that a particular verse is for us at that moment. Additionally, the breath of the Spirit whispers to our souls things the Bible says, but they aren’t direct Bible quotes. In facing situations, He speaks to us, i.e. “I’ll be with you when…” or “I’ll never leave you.”
- He speaks to us about the Father’s purpose in us. He gives us a sense of mission: what we are to do and be; what we were specifically created for.
- A brother or sister in Christ shares what they feel the Lord has laid on his or her heart for us; confirmating on things we already felt in our spirit.
- “…wage the good warfare” (vs. 18) A single verb in the Greek text – stratuo; where we derive our word strategy.
- Recognize the tactic of the enemy.
- Take the high ground.
- Think clearly in the middle of the flack.
- Hold our ground.
Paul is saying by the Spirit of God to Timothy, and to us, “Don’t let the flack that is flying cause you to change your mind about what God’s already said about you. He’s not going to back away from the investment He’s made in you.” The Lord will undergird our lives, and He’ll be there!
Recognize the Enemy
Take the high ground, where He says we’ve been seated in “heavenly places” in Christ (Ephesians 2).
John 5 tells the story of the crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda. Jesus asks the man if he desires to be made well. The man explains that this pool is a miracle location, but the only ones healed are the ones who get in the water first. The miracle happens to others, but he explains that he has never been able to get there first. “It” was in the way of his realizing God’s purpose. “It” was his crippled condition. Jesus had not asked him what his condition was, He just asked, “Will you be made whole?” When the man explained these things, Jesus simply said to him, “…take up your bed and walk.” In no uncertain terms, the Savior said, “Don’t let ‘it’ be the couch you lie on anymore–get up now,” and the man did.
Today, we are to confront whatever “it” may be. We are to recognize the infinite worth that has been placed on us in God’s purpose. We need to hear the Holy Spirit say, “The investment God made in sending Jesus is assured. The Father’s purpose is going to help you through whatever struggle you’re in.” The Lord stands before us and says, “Rise and be healed. Be whole. Be confident.”
To learn more from Pastor Jack Hayford visit his: Legacy Library.
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In his 60+ years of pastoral ministry, Pastor Jack Hayford interacted and mentored thousands of pastors and leaders. This interaction has shaped his perspective on the things that most concern pastoral leaders today.