In Paul’s letters to Timothy, he described how to identify false teachers and then charged his young protégé, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:11-12, ESV).
My Dad taught me this: The hungry, seeking heart can have as much of Jesus as it wants. Don’t be satisfied. Go all out! Pursue a true life with Christ. Get more of Jesus. Fall in love with Jesus. Seek the Father in the morning and the Holy Ghost in the afternoon and Jesus at night. Spend your whole day wrapped around Jesus, being filled with him.
I think that’s what Paul was calling Timothy to here.
Taking hold of eternal life, the life in Christ to which we were called, means making Jesus everything in your life. Jesus is my all-in-all. Jesus is in every part of my life. Paul was saying, “Man of God, pursue that with everything in you. Let that be your passion, and those virtues of righteousness, godliness, steadfastness will be like live coals in your heart. Blow the wind of the Holy Spirit on them. Allow the Holy Spirit to breathe on you afresh once again so that fire never grows cold, the embers never fade but rather continue to burn. You put fresh firewood on that thing.”
A little later, Paul used even stronger language in his commands to Timothy. He said, “O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called ‘knowledge,’ for by professing it some have swerved from the faith” (1 Timothy 6:20-21).
Paul was saying that there’s responsibility in your life. It answers the question: If discipleship is totally up to God, then why are some Christians radical, full-on disciples and others are not?
I would say it comes down to this issue that Paul is talking about in his letters. Are we pursuing the gifts of the Spirit, chasing more of Jesus’ presence in our lives and holding fast to our faith? Are we guarding the new life God has put into us?