The Marvel movies have made millions at the box office. We love superheroes and secretly wish we had their abilities! We all love to prevail against all odds! Our warfare as Christians is against an invisible enemy. We see the effect of evil every day and it seems to be getting stronger and stronger. Thankfully, our enemy’s days are numbered.
The apostle Paul’s admonition to young Timothy was to “fight the good fight of faith” in 1 Timothy 6:12. Paul didn’t want Timothy to get entangled with the wrong battle (2 Timothy 2:4). It is easy to have a multi-front war and get overwhelmed by fighting in a place where God never intended you to be and become a casualty.
In the divine reality, we are called to fight one battle; that of faith. It may seem like we should be fighting the war on drugs, crime, evil, sin, temptation, etc, but these are all symptoms of something deeper. We prevail these other fronts by fighting the good fight of faith.
The good fight of faith is when we live having full confidence in the nature and character of who God is and we are trusting in him, embracing him, confessing and believing in TRUTH (Hebrews 11:13).
Our priorities and decisions will represent what we value. “In him, we live move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Our attitude, confession, and motivation are offensive in the understanding of faith. Too often, people know what we are against in life but what we believe is often hidden.
Ultimately, the battle is the Lord’s (Exodus 14:14). That doesn’t mean we are on the couch, eating Doritos, doing nothing passing the battle off to someone else! NO! We are moved by the Spirit with passion, but our motivation and purpose are different. It is not to change people’s behaviors, but rather to lift up Christ where we are now and watch as the ripple effect of Jesus destroys the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
My Battle or His?
Often, we can get tired and overwhelmed at life’s difficulties. This is a good indicator that we are fighting our own battles in our own strength. “Suiting up” is key for the warrior. We put on the armor and our heart is prepared to see what God will do in our midst. The devil’s tactics of intimidation and fear can make our souls very restless. As we focus and fellowship with Jesus’ truth, it quiets our soul in because when we are weak He is strong! (Mathew 4:4, Zephaniah 3:17)
In many circles of recovery, we may hear the confession and analysis of our sin. Constantly focusing on and dissecting the reasons for sin can easily transfer an identity: “My sin is who I am. I am born this way!”
Wrong! All behavior is learned through a mindset. In this confession, we have exchanged the truth about God, and traded what He says about us for a lie (Romans 1:25). We don’t deny we have done wrong, but it is not the whole truth (Romans 7:20).
In Galatians 5:16, the apostle Paul pleads with the Galatians to, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Paul knew he was no match for his sin; not even to manage it! His instruction was to walk and be active in the anointing of the Spirit so there would be no time to cleave to the dust (Psalms 119:25).
Being filled with the righteousness of God allowed less time to fellowship with unrighteousness. Many want to do sensational works for God but walking in the Spirit is very powerful:
- Realizing you are God’s ambassador wherever you are.
- Acting in the authority of Jesus within you.
- Understanding there is no difference between the secular and the sacred as our attitude glorifies God.
- Sharing the heart of Christ. Kindness can be as powerful as a hammer; just with much different results.
What Spirit Controls You?
The devil wants to “bait and switch” us to get us involved where we are not supposed to be. We may see something or hear something and get self-righteous and be motivated to fix things that are not right. Yes, there is a time for confrontation, but our spirit must be right or this can be a recipe for disaster and we may become a casualty of the angelic conflict.
Galatians 6:1 says to check our spirit before we even wage any warfare. Is gentleness, and meekness actively pursuing the cause or the person? Love is patient, even in the face of unrighteousness. Will I give time for God to act or must I play God in someone’s life? Yes, we are angry at sin. Yes, we all want to know Jesus and to expose the lies, but fighting the fight of faith is how we do this.
- Lifts Jesus up and scatters His enemies.
- Replaces disobedience with obedience.
- Strengthens truth and brings our attention to it.
Often, as people get to know the heart of God, it draws them in and they acquire an appetite for it. Wrong concepts that distort or misrepresent God are countered with actions that reveal the true nature of God.
Faith in Action
Our role may seem passive at times, but it is not. It is keeping us in our place and giving Christ the first place. People are watching your life before they listen to your words.
Here are a few ways to keep demonstrate faith:
- Hide in the shadow if the almighty
- Speak the same things as truth
- Live by the truth
- Walk in the spirit
- Pray always
Per 2 Corinthians 10:4-6, the weaponry God has given us is not carnal nor earthy but supernatural and mighty for pulling down invisible strongholds that manifest themselves in a real tangible way every day.
The devil has an advantage if we wage warfare our own way. It is easy to be riled up with what we think should happen or crusading based on injustice. The heat of the battle can wear out the saints in Daniel 7:25. Our faith in who Jesus is and His plan causes us to operate in Jesus’ faith! Abiding in His perfect faith will move our mountains. The devil will prevail every time unless we do it God’s way.
In 1 Corinthians 9:26, the apostle Paul didn’t want to fight as someone that was guessing or “beating the air aimlessly chasing shadows”. He wanted wisdom with strategic strikes. In Ephesians 6:10-18, we see our armor and weaponry is highly effective in destroying the devil’s tactics.
- Belt of truth. We are grounded in truth. We have a grace identity rather than being ruled by feelings.
- Breastplate of righteousness. We are righteous in Him and we define ourselves there.
- Shoes of the gospel. Firmly planted and moving in the mission of the gospel.
- Shield of faith. Agreeing in truth beyond what we feel or see. It is our protection.
- Helmet of salvation. Our thoughts are kept and secure knowing the heart of our Father.
- Sword of the spirit. We are exercised and relating to who God is knowing Gods heart and guarding it in our lives.
- Praying in the spirit. Humble before the Lord asking seeking and knocking in His name.
Notice before we even wage war we stand in the power of His might, it is paramount to grasp that Jesus is fighting for us and we are abiding in Him. As we fellowship with His truth He will empower you with His might so that you will be more than an overcomer! Don’t let evidence—or the lack of—bring in doubt. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. His will always prevails.
Sick and Tired
We all have been at this place where we want to throw in the towel. Weakness and discouragement seem to prevail and we feel defeated. We may think that quitting or backing off will help bring reprieve but—in the big picture—we will suffer greatly.
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)
Reasons we may quit:
- We lose sight of our true purpose
- We forget our roots
- We minimize our impact
- Unrealistic expectations
- Imbalance of output to input.
“You only lose when you quit.” I have heard this many times and it bears a good point. Often when we are at the threshold of victory the reasons to quit can be so convincing. Take a step back and reassessing perspective, and get your second wind.
- What would be the consequence if we didn’t act?
- Who is watching your life?
- Keep perspective; know your role.
- Remember where you are working towards.
- Obstacles are designed to strengthen resolve.
It is okay to rest and get your bearings. Surround yourself with edifying people and those that will challenge you in love, but don’t quit! Don’t shrink back in the day of adversity in Proverbs 24:10. You are important in the Kingdom and God is using you. Satan doesn’t attack people that are ineffective!
Proverbs 29:18 teaches, ”Without an eternal purpose people perish.” In the original translation it says, “people run wild and cast off restraint”. Our world can be reduced to ourselves and our wants when we look away from our eternal purpose. It is easy to live from our “pros and cons” list and talk ourselves outside the WILL of God. In these times refresh yourself in HIS presence in Acts 3:19 and remind yourself that you’re not to tiptoe through life so that you can safely get to the grave! Our true purpose is seen below:
- Know Christ personally – NOW.
- Be loved by Christ deeply – NOW.
- Be like Christ on the earth – NOW.
Our purpose is much more than accomplishing a task, it is to be more like Christ every day. No matter how many times you have fallen remember our weakest areas can become a platform for HIS strength. Romans 8:37 the apostle Paul reminds us that “we are more than conquerors through Christ that loved us! We don’t have to be a casualty but live and stand in Christ’s victory.