Fighting the Good Fight (18-9)
Are you having to cope with a mundane routine of toil and work, only to see your efforts achieve little more than to sustain your existence? Are you at a point where you are questioning what life is all about, wondering if whether where you are in life is as good as it gets? Do begin to question whether true and meaningful happiness exists and if so, is it achievable? Do you feel that you are living a purposeful life – a life that has meaning and is somehow making a difference? For many, I suspect those reading this do ask these questions and the answers we come up with are discouraging and down-right depressing to consider. How do I suspect this to be the case? Because I routinely ask these same questions and been part of listening to hundreds of other people ask these same questions. At the core of these questions is a sense of being in bondage with no options other than to constantly yield and bend to those who make demands on us. What are you fighting for and what should you be fighting to achieve in life?
Fighting the Good Fight. In 1 Timothy (verse 6:12), Paul says “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” The battle we are to fight is spiritual warfare. The first battle is to lay hold on eternal life. Eternal life is the prize of the high calling of God, which is held up, and held forth to those who are fighting the Lord's battles. With this, we are called to hold onto our faith (trust in Christ), believing and knowing that we have special rights and powers to fight the battles we’re called to fight, while being assured we can never fail, for the victory has already been achieved. Second, by the special grace and power of the Spirit of God, we are not only called to grace, but to eternal glory; and the God of all grace, of his sovereign good will and pleasure, is faithful, and will bestow it upon His believers. By way of Christ, and abiding in Christ, we can expect to be strengthened by our faith, and with it, the enjoyment of knowing we are victors, and with it, eternal life. Finally, as disciples and witnesses to God’s Word, and the extraordinary gifts we receive from it, we are to profess and confess the truth before all men, even those who may hate Christ, and as a result, will hate us as violent persecutors of God’s truths.
So, Let’s Again Ask the Question. As a believer in Christ, are you “fighting the good fight of faith”? In clearer terms, are you totally trusting my Lord and Savior to guide and direct your life, regardless of your circumstances, happiness, and suffering? Do you remain hopeful that He will fulfill His promises? This should be your main goal in life – to know at the end of it – your Lord and Savior concludes that you in fact “fought the good fight”. However, before this time comes, you have to continuously remind yourself that you do not have the ability or power to fight anything. Your power to fight can only be achieved by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Christ. It is from this indwelling that you not only get the power, ability and desire to fight on, but also the knowledge and insight to what you must fight with your objective to be that much closer and “one with God.” Whether you agree this should be our life’s aim or not is of no consequence to me personally, for I know it is the truth: Our life’s journey is to be “one with God”. That’s what life is all about – “game over”. We must remember that God created us for His pleasure and glory and according to His will. A third truth is that He is God, and we’re not. We were created in His image and according to His likeness, but we are not Him. Our calling is to be “like” Him (godly) according to His will.
We Must Purse Sanctification. When fighting the good fight, we must abide in His Word and pursue sanctification (being set apart). Sanctification is the process by which we are transformed, by way of being “born again” to have divine nature. With this we are to strive to put sin to death by resisting temptation. This is what it means to cleanse the inside of the cup (Matthew 23:26). Our sinful nature is gradually replaced by virtues – the divine nature of Christ. Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 that as Christ’s His disciples, we are not to conform to this world, but be transformed by renewing our minds (repentance) so we may prove and show others what is good and acceptable, thus revealing the perfect will of God. This is our battle cry: To show and to be witnesses to others what is good and acceptable and God’s (not man’s) will for their lives, and in the process define the purpose of our existence.
Our Call to Be Faithful. Faith (trust) in Christ is the only way to be able to fight the fight we’re called to fight. We cannot strive in our own strength, for we do not have the power to fight the spiritual war that lays waste to the world and man in it. We are to abide in Christ (and He in us), if we are to fight the supernatural and invisible enemies who seek to act contrary to our Creator and Father’s will. We must be faithful warriors to the truth knowing that living an overcoming life in the virtues of Christ is not something that comes automatically. It comes only by way of faith. Until we fully understand who we are in relation to God and that apart from Him we can do nothing, there is no hope to ever know and be One with Him and with this be the spiritual warrior we’re all called. To achieve this, we must abandon our pride and be humble. We must engage life with a “servant’s heart”, for there is no higher or greater calling. We must love unconditionally, for Christ loves us unconditionally. This is what it means to be “Christ-like”, with His divine nature in hand, we can begin to understand and achieve a purposeful and meaningful life no matter what our ongoing circumstances or happenings. Don’t be in bondage and a slave to the world. Be a warrior for freedom. Now, with the Armor of Christ and boxing gloves in hand, go forth and fight the good fight!