“Now you, man of God, run from these things; but pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11)
To “pursue” is to go after, to run toward, to seek, and to desire. The objective is to obtain, but pursuit in and of itself is simply the process of attempting to do so. It does not assume that the pursuer will achieve the objective. It only states that the pursuit is taking place.
Pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness is a noble and admirable pursuit, but we know that achieving these is impossible in our human strength. Obviously, people can achieve some portions of these qualities on their own efforts, but we cannot obtain and live by these qualities consistently because of that one little thing we can “sin.” We need help to achieve a consistency of pursuit. That help comes from the Holy Spirit. In fact, when you compare the list above with the one in Galatians, it looks a lot like the “fruit of the Spirit” described there. In reality, that is what Paul has in mind here, too. Pursuit, or seeking, the fruit of the Spirit is our part, but producing the fruit is the Spirit’s role. We pursue, but we trust God to fill our lives with these qualities.
Lord, We pursue You, and we ask that Your Spirit fill us with the qualities of righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Amen.