Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1Ti 6:12
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith… 2Ti 4:7
Fight is often an offshoot of a conflict which is meant to exterminate or at least weaken the opposition. Generally, we are always told that we should not fight because fighting is regarded as not good. When we realise consequences of fights, we’ll conclude easily that peace is better. One thing that we all need to understand however is that as we have bad fight which could lead to untold hardship and even death of any or all feuding parties, there are also good fights that must be fought! In fact, in many situations, if you want peace, you are to prepare for war! It was the wars fought by David that made his son, Solomon to reign in peace after him.
Why do we need to fight? I have summarised reasons for fight into 3 main group as below.
1. We fight in order to be free. If you don’t fight for your freedom, your captors want to keep you in captivity forever. You cannot realise the beauty freedom unless your movement is restricted for a few hours. Nelson Mandela fought apartheid with all he had. Even though dead, he’s still celebrated as a hero. What is it that is holding you in captivity? Is it a besetting sin, poverty, sickness, failure, demons? If you’re a child of God, you’ve got to realise that you have the authority of God to fight these as victory has been given you when Christ died at Calvary.
2. We fight in order to protect what is ours. The enemy is ever attempting to trespass. God created your eyelids so as to protect the eyes from invading flies, dusts etc. The devil, like Ahab is at all times seeking to take over your vineyard and turn it to vegetable garden. In 1Ki 21:2,3 we read:
And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.
The refusal of Naboth to sell his birthright made him an enemy to the household of Ahab! The devil as our archenemy wants to steal our joy, kill our hope and destroy our future. If you are not ready to come against him in the name of the Lord as David did against Goliath, he’ll weaken you and intimidate your away from your glorious destiny! Any fight against satan is a good fight!
3. We fight to get more and satisfy ourselves. If you don’t fight for more, you’ll soon realise that what you have is not enough and so we fight to gain more ground. Israel, on getting to the Promised Land had to fight to chase the inhabitants away so as to become the owners. The gate of hell is ever very close to the church. We are expected to keep occupying for our Lord by shrinking the opponent’s kingdom. Hell also want to take more ground. We have the responsibility through fasting and prayers, evangelism etc to chase the devil away by bringing more of his disciples into the emancipating light of Jesus Christ. Are you partaking in doing this?
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 1:3
Are we contending for the faith that was once delivered to the saints? Rather than fight a common foe, don’t we instead copy Jacob and Esau who fought for supremacy from the womb? We fight over flimsy things e.g. my church is bigger than yours, our music is finer than yours, you stole my members, you enticed my musicians away and other mundane things!
How do you feel when you read of the havoc that Boko Haram has wroth recently with thousands killed, churches and houses burnt? Where are Christians in the fight against corruption? It appears to me that the reason why it seems we are winning the war against lesbianism, homosexuals etc is because our culture joins us in the fight. If we don’t fight it the way it should be fought (on our knees and with righteous hearts), and merely continue using the weapons of men, we shall be surprised that our politicians would bend very soon to the pressure from the western world.
Edmund Burke said it all: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
The good fight that Paul wrote about is not that of flesh and blood. It is not physical neither is it intellectual. It is the fight of faith. Carnal fight is well described in 1 Cor 3:3,4.
For you are still unspiritual; all the time that there is jealousy and squabbling among you you show that you are—you are living just like men of the world. While one of you says, “I am one of Paul’s converts” and another says, “I am one of Apollos’”, are you not plainly unspiritual?
–J.B, Philips Translation
Our fight is not with human being hence we are encouraged to endeavour to be at peace with all men in Heb 12:14. That is why our weapons are not carnal.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. 2Cor 10:4
We cannot win the forces we are contending with without having succeeded in subjecting your flesh and allowing the Holy Spirit to do His work on you. If you partake in the Lord’s battle in an unworthy state, you would be a victim rather than a victor.
When Moses used carnal weapons against an Egyptian, did that set his people free? No! In fact, he had to go into exile for 40 years! Why? Answer is in James 1:20. For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
A fight is not good if you lose it. The Christian that loses the battle of his life to the flesh has lost it to the world as well as the devil! When footballers lose a game, they cannot say the game is good since it is not in their favour! David’s fight with Goliath was a good fight because David won. David won that battle because he fought with faith. He promised to cut Goliath’s head. Was he with any sword? No but he used that of Goliath! With faith, your foe shall perish by whatever weapon planned against you. Isa 54:17 is very clear on this.
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
A good fight is that of faith. The victory that overcomes the world is our faith.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
Part of our armour is the shield of faith. Faith is what we have to ensure is in us, ever growing. The devil at all times will try our faith. Whenever the devil attacks your health, your wealth, relationships etc. you had better known that what he’s actually after is your faith. He wants you to be tempted to curse God like the wife of Job. The goal of the devil is that you blame God for your experience by doubting His perpetual goodness to you. If you cannot respond to the popular slogan, “The LORD is good” by saing: “ALL THE TIME”, the foe has gained the upper hand over you as it means Rom 1:28 is not in you!
A good soldier does not wait till the day of battle before preparing. Once you are aware that you are daily at the battle front, this should inform you to keep loading yourself with whatever would increase your faith and move away from people that would decrease your faith! Job did not lose his faith and confidence in God and that is why he said in Job 13:15
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
A man that has lost the faith has no further grip on eternal life. That may explain why the devil fears a Christian that knows how to praise God in all situation.
In conclusion, we have to realise that the battle is not lost even if we die here fighting it. Otherwise, how would the scripture as revealed by the Holy Spirit in John 16:2 be fulfilled?
They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
Would we say Paul lost the battle when he was killed? No.
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2Ti 4:6-8
When we fight in the Lord’s army, it is sure that we’ll be fighting the good fight.
Fight the good fight with all thy might;
Christ is thy Strength, and Christ thy Right;
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.
Run the straight race through God’s good grace,
Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
Life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the Path, and Christ the Prize.
Cast care aside, upon thy Guide,
Lean, and His mercy will provide;
Lean, and the trusting soul shall prove
Christ is its Life, and Christ its Love.
Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
He changeth not, and thou art dear.
Only believe, and thou shalt see
That Christ is all in all to thee.
Hymn by John S. B. Monsell