By Rick Renner
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season… — 2 Timothy 4:2
In the book of Second Timothy, the apostle Paul gave a long, detailed description of the things that would become more and more prevalent in the last of the last days. Later in that same letter, Paul gave this charge to the younger minister: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season…” (2 Timothy 4:2).
The word “instant” is from the Greek word ephistemi, and it means to stand at your post. The word ephistemi is a military term. That’s important because standing at your post entails engaging in spiritual warfare. I won’t delve into a deep study of the subject of spiritual warfare here, but I will say that declaring the Word of God in faith is the highest level of spiritual warfare there is. That’s why it’s especially important for a preacher, or any believer who has God’s Word planted deeply in his heart, to stand and to keep on standing at his post without moving an inch!
The declaration of God’s Word from the pulpit is another form of spiritual warfare. The preaching and teaching of the Word can have a life-changing, yoke-destroying effect on people’s lives. When the Gospel is proclaimed, the power in those words of truth penetrate the hearts of people who are in sin. The Word of God breaks down strongholds, releases the supernatural power of God, and transforms minds and lives as it changes eternal destinies.
That’s why Satan is always after the pulpit! He attacks it not so much because of the individuals who stand in the pulpit, but rather because of what they declare from their position in Christ and the authority Jesus has delegated to them as ministers of the Gospel. The enemy wants to stop the light from going forth because of the high level of warfare that’s effectively demonstrated when truth penetrates the human spirit and enlightens a person’s mind.
There’s power in the proclamation of the Gospel to snatch a person right out of a lifetime of bondage and plant his feet firmly on the right path. On that path is everything that person could ever need: light for his feet, freedom for his mind, strength and resolve for his will, and vision for a bright future. That’s what God’s Word can do! It is therefore no wonder that Satan tries to stop the preaching, teaching, and ministry of the Word! Mental, emotional, and spiritual strongholds are demolished when the Word of God is proclaimed!
Now you can better see why Paul would go to such great lengths to urge and admonish Timothy to “stay put” — to remain in his place of ministry, or to stay at his post. It’s obvious that he wouldn’t exhort Timothy to stay put somewhere unless the younger minister was being tempted not to stay put. Believers in the church of Ephesus were suffering intense persecution for their faith in Christ. But Paul said to Timothy, “You be instant!” In other words, Paul was exhorting him, “Stay at your post! Don’t leave the position where God placed you!”
Paul’s next words — “in season, out of season” — give us further clues to help us understand why remaining continually stationed where God has placed us is so important. The phrase “in season” was translated from the Greek word kairos, which basically means in good times.
For those of us in the ministry, it’s so much nicer to preach when everyone in the congregation is on our side and thinks we’re great. We love it when everything in the church or ministry is running smoothly with no challenges to distract us. Those are good times! But when people in the church start gossiping about us and about each other, when newspapers are writing stories about us or a family member that are untrue, or when our well-being — or the well-being of our families — is threatened either financially or physically, those are not very good times.
That’s why Paul said that we need to stay at our posts even when things seem to be “out of season.” That phrase was translated from the word akairos, and the prefix a puts a negative spin on kairos. It means when things have changed and they are NOT so wonderful. The whole phrase could be translated: “in good times and bad times!”
What are you supposed to do when pleasant times begin to shift? What do you do when dark storm clouds begin to form in skies that just moments before were clear and blue? You do the same thing you were doing before when times were good! You remain at your post, refusing to budge!
In fact, Paul wrote previously in Second Timothy 3:14, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” In other words, Paul was telling Timothy, “Don’t you budge! Don’t move from the place where God has called you. Stay put! ”
Paul wrote these words to Timothy, but through these Spirit-inspired writings, He is also saying to us: “Stay at your post and don’t budge an inch! Stay there and do what God has told you to do when times are good — and if times turn bad, remain steady and unflinching!”
One thing is sure: As you determine to remain faithful to your divine call and to the place where God has assigned you — as you decide to stay put and refuse to budge an inch — He will empower you with inner strength that enables you to see it through to a glorious conclusion!
Rick Renner is a prolific author and a highly respected Bible teacher and leader in the international Christian community. He is the author of more than 30 books, including the bestsellers Dressed To Kill and Sparkling Gems From the Greek. In 1991, Rick and his family moved to what is now the former Soviet Union. Two years later, he and his wife Denise founded the Riga Good News Church in Latvia before moving on to Moscow in 2000 to found the Moscow Good News Church. In 2007, the Renners also launched the Kiev Good News Church in the capital of Ukraine. Both the Riga and Kiev churches continue to thrive and grow.
Today, Rick is the senior pastor of the Moscow Good News Church, as well as the founder and director of the Good News Association of Pastors and Churches with nearly 800 member churches. In addition, Rick is the founder of Media Mir, the first Christian television network established in the former USSR that today broadcasts the Gospel to a potential audience of 110 million people. Rick resides in Moscow with his wife Denise and their three sons and families. Visit: RENNER Ministries and watch on YouTube