Fight the good fight of the faith.
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
~ 1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
Welcome to mile marker 23 of the #encourage marathon. (If you missed yesterday’s post, you can read it here.)
Someone out there is tired of fighting. It might even be you.
We spent three days of the marathon talking about the armor of God:
Once you’ve equipped yourself for battle, it’s time to engage in the fight.
Ephesians 6.12 describes what we are up against:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
As much as I would love to see peace on earth, the cynic/realist/pessimist in me knows that if 1 billion people laid down their arms, there’d be at least 100 people secretly hoarding the deadliest weapons in order to stage a takeover. Satan has no desire for mankind to dwell peacefully together, being the original manufacturer of strife. So, let’s get real, and face the fact that as long as we are alive on this earth, there will be all sorts of wars—wars of words, wars of ideas, wars of conquest, wars of greed, wars to overthrow injustice, wars to resist oppression, and wars to depose dictators.
What battle are we called to fight as Christians?
We are called to fight the good fight. It is one that makes absolutely zero sense to the world. Ours is not a struggle to gain wealth or power; it is a fight to preserve our very soul and to win souls for Christ. (Notice I said “win” souls, not “coerce.” We must persuade, not force.)
As we teach about Christ and try to encourage one another, Satan is going to attack us in every way imaginable. Be prepared to fight. The more you shine the light of Christ, the more Satan will try to extinguish it. He has his own crafty ways, and often it is not the full frontal assault we think it will be. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is a creative analysis of some of the various ways in which Satan seeks to weaken and defeat us. It is a worthwhile read.
Know your enemy, and never, under any circumstances, underestimate him.
More importantly: Know the One who fights for you, and absolutely never, under any circumstances, underestimate Him—He is stronger than the enemy.
Are you feeling war-weary? Get some refreshing. Now.
Take time to shut out everything around you, turn off anything that will distract you, and in the stillness, pray for the Lord to renew your mind. One reason I like to be up early is so that I can have quiet for that purpose. I need a moment to gather my thoughts, fill my head with His words and ask for help for whatever is coming.
In your prayers, plead with God to send you encouragement through His Word, through a season of refreshing, and through fellow Christians. You’re going to need it.
If you want to win this fight, you need to plant your feet firmly in God’s Word and fix your mind on what is true, noble, and praiseworthy.
Today, you might be tired of fighting. You may feel like your shouts of truth are lost in the din of a depraved world. On the surface, your efforts are futile. Satan wants you to surrender.
Keep on fighting.
Hold on to your confidence in the coming victory through Christ.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
In Christ Alone
by Stuart Townend
We are almost done with our marathon! Never fear, the encouragement will still be available for you here at Elihu’s Corner under the #encourage tag.
Please continue to join me as we finish out this series on Facebook, Twitter and here at Elihu’s Corner for this marathon. Share the image or verse reference on your Twitter feed or Facebook page with the hash tag (#encourage). Take time today to copy down this verse for yourself. Send an email or text to someone you know who would benefit from this encouragement.
Make some time to copy down these verses. Some of them are a bit long, but it only takes a few minutes. Ask your kids to do it with you. Don’t just be encouraged, but encourage others in the race!