Today's Foundations Devotional: Wage the good warfare

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Memory verse:

Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses

had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did

as the Lord had commanded Moses.

(Deuteronomy 34:9)

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Yesterday we concluded that Timothy had received a certain spiritual gift (which we do not know) under the laying on of hands.

The third and last important fact revealed by these passages from the epistles to Timothy is that the imparting of a spiritual gift to Timothy by the laying on of hands was also associated with prophetic utterance. In one passage Paul says this gift was given “by prophecy” (1 Tim. 4:14). This indicates that the will of God for Timothy to receive this gift was supernaturally revealed through the gift of prophecy; thereafter the impartation of this gift to Timothy was made effective through the laying on of the hands of Paul and the church elders. In other words, the laying on of hands was the means by which the revealed will of God for Timothy was actually made effective in his experience.

In another passage Paul explains a further spiritual purpose for which the prophetic revelation of God’s will was given to Timothy, for he says:

This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare (1 Tim. 1:18).

This indicates that God had a special charge committed to Timothy, a special ministry for him to exercise, a special purpose in life for him to fulfil. The nature of this ministry was revealed to him in advance – on more than one occasion, it would appear – by prophetic utterances. On one of these occasions it was also revealed that Timothy would need a certain spiritual gift to fulfil the ministry committed to him, and on that occasion the particular gift that he needed was imparted to him through the laying on of hands.

Once again, it must be emphasised that this was not a question of the unnecessary or ostentatious use of spiritual gifts. On the contrary, this was something that was vitally necessary to the success of Timothy’s ministry. Paul states the purpose for which these prophecies were given to Timothy: “that by them you may wage the good warfare” (1 Tim. 1:18).

The Christian life – and especially the life of a minister – is a warfare, a continual contest against unseen forces of darkness and wickedness.

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Prayer:

Mighty Lord, thank You that in that constant spiritual battle, were

we as children of You here on Earth are automatically involved in,

You repeatedly reveal Yourself as the Lord of the heavenly armies!

I praise You for your omnipotence. Amen.

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