I have always been fascinated by this scripture: Matthew 11:12 (NIV) From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it.
This verse represents a difficult concept to clarify, but my understanding is that Jesus came to earth to powerfully advance God’s Kingdom, but great opposition has come against heaven’s kingdom ever since, so we are not to be faint hearted if we truly want to fight the good fight of faith:
“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.”1 Timothy 6:12 (NIV)
We need to know WHO to fight
We know that the devil is the father of lies (John 8:44), and that he works through manipulation, deception, and control.
We therefore need to fight the temptation to place blame on the wrong enemy – ourselves, our fellow man or even God! Recognise that this is his greatest ploy and resist these lies.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
We need to recognise who is at work behind the scenes and decide to take a stand against the devil and his wiles by submitting our thoughts, emotions and responses to God and His word:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. The devil is a bully, but God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).”James 4:7 (NIV)
We need to understand the laws of God’s Kingdom and enforce them in/through His word and His name.
Just like there are earthly laws e.g., gravity, so there are spiritual laws i.e., laws that are eternal, dependable, steadfast. God’s Word is His eternal spiritual law that never changes!
“Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.”Luke 9:1 (NIV)
HOW to fight the good fight
It all starts with choice! God has given us free will, and we get to decide whether we think something is worth fighting for or not?
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.”1 Timothy 6:11 (NIV)
Hebrews 12:1-5 (NIV)
• Flee from the sin that so easily entangles – don’t fight the devil on the devil’s territory! • Run with perseverance – never give up, no matter how many times you fall! • Keep refocusing – fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith!
Ephesians 6: 10-18 (NIV)
• Be strong in the Lord’s power – invite Him to work through you, don’t try and do it alone.
• Actively put on the full armor given you by God, so that you can stand against the devil’s schemes
• Stand your ground! Decide to pursue His will daily and resist the lies of the enemy.
• Buckle up in the truth of His word. Keep declaring His word out loud until it changes you within.
• Live in the covering of His righteousness and in right-standing with Him. Allow Him to renew your mind through His word, taking every thought captive.
• Shod your feet with the gospel of peace – always be in step with God, ready to trust and obey and to share Him with others.
• Use your shield of faith to extinguish the fiery darts of the enemy’s lies. Sin causes us to want to pull away from God, but it is exactly then that we need to lean into Him more.
• Put on the helmet of salvation, fully knowing/believing in your eternal destiny in Him.
• Always pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayers and requests.
You are a child of God! He has always been faithful to you.
He has promised to complete the good work He has begun in you (Philippians 1:6).
“7I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day…”2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV)
Lord – where would we be without the wisdom and guidance we receive through your Word? Keep opening our eyes to see, our ears to hear, and our hearts to respond to your truth we pray. Help us fight the good fight of faith, so that we too may gain a crown of righteousness! In Jesus name we pray