2 Timothy 4:7-8 – “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” NASB
I sometimes have people challenge me saying, “Oh, brother don’t fight.” Some believe that if we do the right things to appease and attract the world they will come to the LORD and accept us. I am convinced that the only method that works is “The Word of God!” It is the Word of God empowered by the Spirit of God that brings conviction to hearts and the right instruction for life. If we live Redeemed lives and they see the change in us, they will be moved and not by our trying to be like them. The devil is not interested in coexistence only dominance and defeat.
I appreciate the apostle Paul and consider him one of the New Testament men that it could rightly be said, that he was a man after God’s own heart. His declaration in this passage is definitive, “I have fought a good fight.” That suggests several things that negate the idea that we are to be passivist in our Christianity.
He Saw a Need to Fight! He fought for Freedom and throughout human history men have given their lives for the cause of freedom. America is no exception, we have our heroic patriots. Paul fought for Survival and sought to prevent people from being destroyed by the devil. He fought for Love. We may see no reason for some fights but fighting for or out of love is an integral part of our Christian experience.
He Saw Who He Was Fighting! Too often we fight the wrong things, and in that process find ourselves fighting against the Spirit of God. Napoleon called China a sleeping giant and the devil calls the church the same thing. Paul was fighting against Sin.
He waged war with Self, and it was a daily struggle. He waged war with the devil, the accuser of the brethren, our adversary. He knew why he was fighting and with whom he was fighting. He recognized that the Christian’s War is not with men but with the powers of darkness. It is not a natural but a spiritual war and therefore cannot be fought using natural means.
He Knew How to Fight! I am distressed from time to time with believers who do not know how to fight. They have adopted such a passivist mentality that fighting is foreign to them and they continually get assaulted by the powers of darkness thinking it is normal. They view their defeat as somehow spiritual and a sign of their piousness.
We have weapons of war that are mighty through God and it is imperative that we learn how to use them. The most powerful weapon in our arsenal is “The Word of God!” That Word is God’s liberating truth and is powerful enough to pull down strongholds and set captives free. However, that Sword of the Word will never become effective if it is not seasoned with Prayer, led by the Spirit of God and wielded with purpose and confidence or faith.
One more thing I want you to reflect on is the reality that Paul Fought he did not theorize but He Fought! Sin was dirty and deadly in the view of the apostle and he considered the devil his mortal enemy not simply some nuisance. He knew no compromise and practiced what he preached. He was instant in season and out of season. He stayed on the firing line of the battlefront. He was always conscious of and studied the schemes and devices of the devil that he might better overcome and teach others the art of overcoming. He knew that sin and the devil take no holidays, so he was invested in his commitment to Christ 24/7/365.
I want to address a couple more things but will pause here and pick this up again in the next devotional but until then I pray that the LORD will challenge you to become a Fighter for His Kingdom and Purposes.
May this day be filled with His wonder and you find perfect peace in all that you do. Have a blessed day!