Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fight to Win!

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  1Timothy 6:12
  • There is a reason that you sometimes feel like things are against you!
  • There's a reason that sometimes you're just aware that forces are trying to hinder you!
  • There's a reason you have bad days for no apparent reason!
  • There's a reason you feel like you have to claw, bite and scratch to get anywhere!
  • There's a reason you feel like you're in a battle...
You are in a battle!!! You are in an ongoing battle against the forces of darkness.  When you became a child of God, you became an heir of all the things He promised you in His Word.  But you also became a target for the enemy!

It's time to reconcile that you can be meek, without being weak!  Jesus was meek, and humble, but he made a whip and drove the money changers out of the temple.  He was lowly in heart, but his righteous indignation flared on several occasions and he fought the enemy anytime and anywhere.  all of us are also called to fight:  Fight the good fight of the faith.

Fight the Good Fight of Faith
This phrase literally means “compete in the good competition of the faith,” using words that may refer to a race or to a boxing or wrestling match: “run the good race” or “fight the good fight.” The similar phrase in 1Timothy 1:18 uses a military picture and is more literally “war the good warfare.”

So we are commanded to compete the good competition, and we are commanded to war the good warfare!  There's a big difference between boxing in the ring and taking heavy artillery fire, so why does the Bible give both images?

Winning the Prize
The word of God uses warfare images to give us an indication of the seriousness of the battle, but it also gives us competition imagery.  One thing about a competition, is that is involves a prize!  When you run the race, box, wrestle or even throw a football, if you win, you get a prize!

Look at NASCAR:  For the past five years the winner of the Daytona 500, gets over a million and a half dollars!  Golf can also pay off.  Before the "incidents" came to light, Tiger Woods earned more than $10.5 million in huge cardboard checks during last year's PGA Tour, plus another $10 million in September by winning the FedEx Cup. According to Forbes Magazine, this was enough to push Woods over the $1 billion mark.  There's another sermon in there somewhere about how much he's going to loose for himself and the companies he endorsed...

Actually, whether you're in athletic competition, or all out warfare, it's still true:  

To the victor go the spoils!

David - What do I Get?
David heard a frightening report about Goliath.  Not only would this giant have a hard time finding long enough pants at the Big and Tall store, he was also mighty and skilled in battle.  Even the weight of his armor would be too much for an average man.  But somewhere in all those menacing descriptions David heard about the prize that would go to the one who defeated Goliath.

What did David do?  Did he get in fear over the man's size?  Did he freak out over how mean and ugly the man was?  Did he get intimidated by how heavy the man's armor was?  No!  He started going around asking about the prize! 
“What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel?"  In other words, "what do I get?"

Count the Cost
Jesus said before you go into battle, you need to count the cost.  I believe in loving the Lord and serving him just because of that love.  And we all need to be in the place where we love him and want to please him.  But I believe it is perfectly fine (and expected) to count the cost and benefit before you go into battle against the enemy.  David said, "what do I get?"  David knew that the Lord, the God of the armies of Israel would deliver the giant into his hands! 
Heavy armor?  Heavy sword?  That just makes cutting of his head that much easier!!!

So, what do we get when all this is over?!?  Eveyrthing God's Word Promises!  All His promises are yes and amen in Christ Jesus!  So, fight the good fight of faith, and fight to win!

[Photo by John Whittington © 2007]


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