“so flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” [2 timothy 2:22]

growing up, i was afraid of the dark… now that’s not something i’m very proud of or like to admit… but growing up, i vividly remember the basement of the house we lived in when i was in elementary school. it was an awesome basement, let me tell you! we had all our toys down there and our imaginations would run wild. i mean some days we were cowboys out on the wild frontier, other days, that basement filed up with water and we were sailing the high seas together! so many fun times and good memories growing up and playing down there with my brother and sister. but let me tell you, when those lights turned off… it was the most terrifying place on earth! so much so that when we would be called up for dinner, the dreaded task was always being the last one up who had to turn off the lights. i can still remember standing at the foot of the stairs, looking at the empty basement full of light, i could see everything, nothing to fear. but the second those lights went out, who knows what could be hiding in those shadows? i would hit that light switch and boy would i flee. i swear my feet never touched those steps, as i fled from whatever was hiding in that deep, unknown darkness!

fleeing is a verb. it’s an action, something that we must actively do, something that takes effort and energy. it’s not passively done. let me tell you, after fleeing from that darkness in the basement as a kid, i would stand at the top of the stairs, heart pounding and lungs gasping for breath! it was a workout flying up those stairs and running from the terrifying darkness of the basement!

as we pursue Christ, we must run from the things of this world. fleeing isn’t something that just “happens” you don’t accidentally flee from something. you’re not going to accidentally flee from youthful passions, just like i didn’t accidentally run as fast as i possibly could up the basement stairs. it’s something that you have to pursue. you have to chase after Christ! and chasing after Christ, chasing after being made into his likeness looks like fleeing. it looks like fleeing from those things that we used to pursue, those sinful desires that brought us so much joy before Christ. flee from those things and chase after Christ!

my encouragement to you today is to run, run from youthful passions, run from those things that pull you away from Jesus and run with all your might to Jesus. run into his arms and pursue righteousness!

i pray that God would fill our hearts with so much love for Him, that when we’re faced with our youthful passions, when we’re faced with that desire to turn from him and pursue sin to pursue drunkenness or pornography or anger or quarreling or selfishness, whatever it may be. when we’re faced with those things, that our reaction would be the same as 6 year-old josiah when those basement lights went out! brothers and sisters, may we flee, may we run with all our might, run hard and run fast! run into the light, run into the truth, run into the arms of your loving heavenly Father who pursues you, who loves you and calls you to pursue him and to dwell with him now in his presence.

– josiah bridges