In The Great House of God, Max Lucado relates what sociologists observed about mountain climbers. There was a connection between clouds in the sky and contentment in the hearts of climbers. If the mountain peak was visible, the climbers were energetic and cooperative. If it was hidden by cloud cover, they were sulky and selfish.
Paul says the same thing to Timothy. He encourages Timothy to keep his eyes on “the King of kings and Lord of lords” (v.15). The greatness of God is deeply inspiring and life giving. He alone is immortal and lives in unapproachable light (v.16). He is so glorious and unique that no one has seen or can see Him. But He has revealed Himself through His Son Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:1–3), who testified to His glorious identity before Pontius Pilate (v.13, cf. John 18:33–37).
In the midst of sorting out problems and discharging his pastoral duties in the church, Timothy must keep his eyes on the heavenly peaks of God’s nature and promises. By looking at the “only Ruler” of heaven and earth (which means God is sovereign and in control of all things), Timothy will have a spring in his step no matter how difficult the road. His anticipation of “the appearing of our Lord Jesus, which God will bring about in his own time” (vv.14–15), will help him bear present burdens no matter how heavy and tiresome.
Paul encourages and fortifies Timothy by delivering another charge in the presence of this majestic and awesome God and His Son our Saviour (v.13). Timothy must remember that God is the Divine Witness and Ultimate Observer who is watching everything. He knows every situation and every person. Nothing escapes His notice. Because Timothy’s calling came from Almighty God, and because he lives and serves in God’s presence, Timothy is to fulfil all his duties “without spot or blame” (v.14). He must be full of faith and faithfulness as he makes himself fully available to God to such an extent that his life and ministry will be full of divine grace and power, being marked with integrity and effectiveness.
What happens to us when we lose sight of God’s greatness, purposes, and promises? What can you do to avoid being so overwhelmed by “the mess” on the ground that you forget the Messiah in heaven?
If God is the only Ruler, what are the implications? How should this affect our emotions, attitudes, perspectives, relationships, and choices?