2 Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
A third trouble that targets Timothys are yokes. A yoke is a farm instrument used to group or pair two animals together in order to accomplish a task. The Bible, at various times uses the thought of a yoke to illustrate inspired truths such as the relationship of iniquity to the unbeliever, the relationship of religious traditions to believers, and the relationship of believers to unbelievers. In the preceding verses of 2 Timothy Chapter 3, Paul gives his protégé a plain list of some 19 personas that the young preacher should avoid at all cost. The clear command of the Apostle to Timothy was to “turn away” from those individuals. In effect he is saying, “Don’t lock arms with that bunch!” The principle of avoiding unequal yokes is set forth in 2 Corinthians 6:14
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:
for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
and what communion hath light with darkness?”
This should be practiced by every child of God but should be especially pertinent to the man of God.
I heard the story of a hunter and a hungry bear that seems to illustrate the often fate of those who yoke themselves to someone or something that is not in their best interest. “A hunter raised his rifle and took careful aim at a large bear. When about to pull the trigger, the bear spoke in a soft soothing voice, ‘Isn’t it better to talk than to shoot? What do you want? Let’s negotiate the matter.’ Lowering his rifle, the hunter replied, ‘I want a fur coat.’ ‘Good,’ said the bear, ‘that is a negotiable question. I only want a full stomach, so let us negotiate a compromise.’ They sat down to negotiate and after a time the bear walked away alone. The negotiations had been successful. The bear had a full stomach, and the hunter had his fur coat!” That hunter could preach a powerful message on the dangers of yoking up with the wrong bunch! Be careful who you sit down with. Be careful who you negotiate with. Be careful who you deal with. Be careful of your yokes. Good yokes are always beneficial while bad yokes are always bankrupting!
As a young preacher the risks are high when it comes to fellowshipping, following, a falling in with the wrong crowd. The desire to fit in, the need of meetings, the want of fellowship, timely trends, the studying of materials that are not biblically positioned, lack of knowledge, wisdom, and experience all lend themselves to driving the Timothy into a detrimental yoke. I have found that if you will stay faithful, stay in the Bible, stay on track, that God will guide you to the right company. It is vital that as a young preacher, from the outset of your ministry, you take the right steps to starting and staying right!
Evangelist| Dr. Justin Cooper
Clays Mill Baptist Church