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6 Steps to Becoming Strong Men and Women of God

6 Steps to Becoming Strong Men and Women of God

In the book of 1 Timothy, Paul is writing to this young pastor Timothy. As he gets towards the end of this letter, he gives Timothy these words of encouragement and instruction.

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).

I love the fact that Paul addresses Timothy as man of God, which means if you consider yourself a man or woman of God, then Paul is speaking directly to you. With that, let’s outline the six things you need to be pursuing the rest of this year, and quite honestly every year. 

However, before I do, here is one simple word of advice. While yearly and lifetime pursuits are wonderful to put before you, remember they are accomplished one day at a time. So, as I lay out these pursuits, just know you can only pursue them one day at a time, and if you do that consistently they will compound throughout your life.

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6 Things We All Need to Pursue

1. Righteousness – The Right Perspective

One of the reasons righteousness is so important is because it defines who you are. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you have been endued with or clothed in his righteousness. Here is how Paul wrote it.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

To be described as having this type of righteousness means that you are in right standing before God and have been approved by God. It is important to note that this is not of your own doing, but because of the sacrifice that Christ made for you. Because God has positioned you in this place of right standing, then we should seek to stay in this place. You have been approved by God because of Christ – now stay approved. Understanding your place of righteousness will help you with the next pursuit.

2. Godliness – The Right Actions

Since you have been declared righteous, continue in it. We do this by pursuing godliness. According to the Holman Bible Dictionary, godliness is respect for God that affects the way a person lives.

Let me ask you this question, what do you really think about God and who he is? You may choose to answer this question with your mouth, however the real answer to this question is going to come from how you live. If you are living a life that seeks to honor and please him based on your reverence and respect for him, then you are pursuing godliness. So many people claim to love God or revere him, but their actions prove otherwise. As a man or woman of God, let this be the year that every day you remind yourself of who God is and pursue godliness in everything you do.

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Purple flower growing in the road

3. Faith – The Right Beliefs

We know the definition of faith from Hebrews 11:1 is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. At the root of faith is what you believe and who you believe in.

The first thing you need to do is make sure you are believing the right things, which means your faith is based on the truth of God’s word. We are living in a day and age where there is plenty of misinformation and mistruths – literally everywhere – and many are falling victim to believing these things. The only way to combat that is to know the truth, and that truth must come from God’s word.

Real faith is going to be a byproduct of what you are feeding yourself. If you feed yourself truth from God’s word, you are positioning yourself to believe right. If you are feeding on anything else, then you are prone to deception. Make God’s word a priority if you want to believe the right things.

The second part of faith is not just what but who. It’s not just believing in the right things, you must believe in the right person. This means that your faith must be in God alone and nowhere else. While God uses leaders of all kinds, they are not where your ultimate hope and faith belong. That spot is reserved for God alone. Let your faith be in him first, and filter everything through him. Doing this will help you believe right but also act right as well.

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open hands holding paper red heart

4. Love – The Right Heart

There is so much that can be said about love. I must admit is almost feels like love is so passé these days because it is lacking in our world. Sadly, it is also lacking in the church. This should be no surprise because Jesus said in the last days the love of many would grow cold (Matt. 24:12).

Why is it so important to pursue love? The reason is because this is the evidence that we are who we say we are. Isn’t it amazing that the test of our true discipleship isn’t how many scriptures we can quote, or how long we pray, or how many hours of service we give, but how we love each other?

I challenge you to refer to 1 Corinthians 13 and look at all the qualities of what love is and begin pursuing them. This is the kind of love it will take to let the world know we are truly his disciples, so let’s pursue it as men and women of God.

5. Endurance – The Right Focus 

Is there something you want to accomplish in the next year, three years, or maybe five years? It is going to take endurance. When you pursue endurance, you recognize the path won’t be easy. There will be challenges along the way, but you learn to persevere despite them. Endurance is the long game. It is the long-term focus that does not get distracted by the temporary setbacks or difficulties we experience in life. 2 Corinthians 4 is a beautiful picture of the type of endurance required and what we should be pursuing. Let me remind you of what Paul said.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9).

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

These verses scream of endurance and having the right focus. Yes, we will have hardships. But pursue endurance, so you are not overwhelmed by the trials of life.

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6. Gentleness – The Right Attitude

One of the most enduring qualities of Jesus is his gentleness. We know he is all-powerful, yet one of the things that draw us to him is his gentleness.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

This verse is a reminder of God’s desire, which is not to add to the load people are carrying but to lighten it. One way this occurs is through his gentleness. Can you remember all the times God has dealt with you in this manner? Gently showing you love and mercy and embracing you when many times you rightfully deserved his judgment.  We need to make sure we are bringing this type of gentleness into our daily relationships.

Imagine if instead of looking to devour each other, we responded to each other in gentleness. Let’s run after this often-overlooked fruit of the Spirit knowing that when we are pursuing gentleness, we are truly reflecting God’s character.  

Final Thought

So often we base how spiritual or mature a person is by their gifts. If they can teach, sing, or preach they are mature, and we consider them a true man of God. However, if you want to be a true man or woman of God it must go deeper than your gifting. The real man or woman of God is the one who pursues righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. If you want to be a true man or woman of God, then pursue these things with all your heart and with the help of the Holy Spirit. As he transforms you, you will become the representatives for Christ that is sorely needed in this world today.

More from this author
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Are You Conducting Yourself in a Manner Worthy of the Gospel?
One Prayer the Church in America Urgently Needs Right Now

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Clarence Haynes 1200x1200Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club.  He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. His most recent book is The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. Clarence is also committed to helping 10,000 people learn how to study the Bible and has just released his first Bible study course called Bible Study Basics. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com