“Guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:20–21, NIV 1984).
“I give you this instruction…fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.” (1 Timothy 1:18-19, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Perhaps you were raised in the faith but have since wandered away and have entertained the “opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge” by our culture. Maybe your faith is not totally “shipwrecked” but you are not sure how to turn away from the “godless chatter” and back to what you once knew (and deep down still know) is the truth.
It’s more than a nostalgic, sentimental longing and wistful affection for the past you once knew, but a yearning for the time when the sense of what was right and what was wrong had more clarity. A yearning that the “values” of society have been unable to satisfy. That “God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing [or cause], but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” (Blaise Pascal). But because of your wandering, you “no longer [feel] worthy to be called [His] son.” (Luke 15:21, NIV 1984).
The problem is more common than you might think. It is not a new problem. There have always been prodigals, and likely will be until He returns for His own. But there is a “cure for the common cold” heart. The heart that has wandered from the path and is in danger of shipwreck. God said this to Elijah, “what are you doing here, Elijah? Go back the way you came.” (1 Kings 19:13, 15, NIV 1984). He had wandered (actually ran). He needed to go back from where he cane. To do so he needed to turn around. Turn away from false claims of worldly knowledge.
You might be wondering “what are you doing here?” but at the same time thinking that “there’s no going back.” That is a lie from the father of lies. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NIV 1984). No matter how “dirty” you got in your wanderings. The prodigal son “squandered his wealth in wild living” and “longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating.” That’s pretty dirty. But upon his return, actually “while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:13, 16 and 20, NIV 1984).
My Advice – The amazing grace of God that saved you will just as amazingly keep you in your wanderings and welcome you back home when you come to your senses. You can go home again. You just need to turn around and go. Don’t ever think you have wandered too far away. Note — while the son was “still a long way off” the father “ran to his son” with open arms. That’s our Father!