Fighting the good fight

You do not need a pair of gloves to fight the believer's kind of fight.

Though Christians are instructed not to repay anyone evil for evil (Romans 12:17), to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39) and to “bless and do not curse” (Romans 12:14), the Bible does command followers of Christ to fight. Granted, this fight is not a physical fisticuffs.

1 Timothy 6:12 implores the believer to “fight the good fight of faith” (KJV). 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says this about the faith fighter:

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

As believers, we are not to be in conflict with people. On the contrary, the word declares that we “demolish arguments.” Our battle, in its entirety, happens in the spiritual places.

Ephesians 6:12 states, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

This spiritual fight requires that we overlook our natural circumstances. The Bible tells us “we live by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Though these circumstances may appear dire, and entice us to succumb to them, our standard for living is always to be God’s own word over physical reality!

Being able to supplant physical evidence with God’s word does require perseverance. No matter what, we have to be willing to stick it out until God super-cedes our natural with his supernatural.

Romans 5:3-5 says, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

Because of God’s fulfilled promise of the Holy Spirit, the believer has no reason to fret. Just as God has kept that promise, all his other promises are “yes” and “amen” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). Furthermore, God has revealed his love for us in the precious gift of the Holy Spirit; all the more reason to believe the Scripture when it says, “anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (Romans 10:11).

A faith mindset is one that operates in revelation. The only way to be “patient in affliction” (Romans 12:12) is through revelation of God’s sovereignty and his ability and desire to act on our behalf.

In the last post, we discussed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and their unwillingness to bow to King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image—in spite of being threatened with the blazing furnace. Their willingness to face death was solely contingent upon revelation. In fact, death was not their expected end because of their belief in God.

Here is their response to the king in Daniel 3:16-17:

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.”

One of the things I really love about these three is there uncanny ability to deny reality. Though the king had the furnace heated seven times hotter than normal, and they witnessed the flames inhale the guards, the Hebrew boys withstood the faith test. They realized that once God’s name was on the line, he was obligated to perform.

Nebuchadnezzar doubted God’s ability to deliver them from the flames, not realizing that God uses the fire to refine (Zechariah 13:9) and not destroy us. Besides,

“God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

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~ by christianballenger on June 9, 2011.

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