God Uses Clean Vessels
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace... 2 Timothy 2:22
Fleeing and pursuing are opposites. It is not enough just to flee from sin. Also, you must pursue godly character qualities.
I grew up in a church culture where preachers preached hard against sin (usually more passionately about their preferences than actual sins) but rarely taught us how to pursue Christ-like qualities. I thought that holiness was a byproduct of man-made rules and "checklist Christianity." Our churches were full of people who were attempting to clean the outside of the cup, but inside it was full of greed and self-indulgence (see Matthew 23:25).
I love how Darryl Dash instructs us in our sanctification journey. In his book How to Grow, he writes, "Spiritual maturity isn’t about white-knuckling it to sainthood. It’s about becoming a person who is fully alive. It means enjoying God and life in deeper and more abundant ways even in the middle of difficulty. It transforms our desires rather than denying them. Spiritual growth is the pursuit of God and the pursuit of joy. It’s the happiest and best way to live."
When we truly seek God by hearing Him in His Word, talking to Him in honest, gospel-soaked prayer, and living in intentionally intrusive, Jesus-focused community, God changes our hearts. He makes us vessels for honorable use because the cup is the same on the inside as it is on the outside.