FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV)
Your faith is both broad and personal. Broad in the sense that the moment you decided to invite Jesus into your life, you received Him by faith and became part of the greathousehold of faith (Galatians 6:10). Your faith is descriptive of your entire Christian journey.
Your faith is also personal. You are called to trust God and have an expectation that He both hears your prayers and responds to your faith. In Hebrews 11 we read, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” The same chapter in Hebrews also portrays an impressive list of faith heroes peering over the rails of heaven, cheering you on.
The reason we must fight for our faith is because there are very real enemies that need to be confronted. Here are five enemies that we all face:
Enemy 1: The facts that contradict your faith
Facts are what you see with your eyes. This could be the negative report you received or the mounting evidence that what you are trusting God for WON’T happen as you believed it would. Thankfully, facts and truth do not always line up. We are not told that knowing FACTS will set us free, but rather, knowing the TRUTH will set us free – and of course, there is only one REAL source of ultimate truth and that is God’s infallible and unchangeable Word.
Enemy 2: Your own negative thought processes
Thinking tends to run like a train in a single direction. It’s either spiralling downwards or taking us forward and upward. Thoughts that threaten to derail your faith need to be arrested. They are a menace to you and to God’s purposes in your life, and that’s why we are told to take them captive. Here’s a reminder of the Apostle Paul’s counsel regarding your thoughts,
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ… 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NKJV)
Enemy 3: Well-meaning people’s contradictory counsel
Sometimes people who think they are helping you or making things easier for you, will give you well-meaning advice that simply does not account for your faith. These may be voices that encourage you toward easy options and logical choices, but in all things, I would urge you to hold on to your faith. Remember, your faith brings evidence and substance to things hoped for and not yet seen.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
Enemy 4: The bleak outlook of daily news reports
It is what it is. News outlets have a job to do. These days, riveting stories rely on tension and controversy and that’s exactly what journalists like to create. However, not all news is fake – it can actually keep us informed and bring the latest world happenings right into our lounge room. But allow me to remind you that a negative report does not understand faith. In difficult times you must lean into godly wisdom, but you must also remain strong and not be deterred from your faith. Faith for a miracle, for protection or provision. Remember the twelve spies who Moses sent to the Promised Land to report on the likelihood of the Israelites successfully invading and inhabiting it? Ten of them brought back a very negative report. Only two, Caleb and Joshua, brought back a faith-filled report. Interestingly, out of the 12 spies, they are the only two whose names and deeds have really lived on as those of faith heroes.
Enemy 5: Actual enemies, who oppose God’s purpose in your life
David spoke of a banqueting table that God had prepared for him in the presence of his enemies (Psalm 23). I like the imagery of the sheer frustration of your enemies watching you “dine” with God Himself. Not everybody will be enthused about the purposes of God in your life. Some may be cynical or threatened, others antagonistic. But let me finish with the beautiful words of Eugene Peterson, as he paints the picture of that banqueting table in the Message Bible:
You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
My friend, know that God has given you all you need to live with a faith that fights. When circumstances look bleak or when hope seems lost, remember who your God is and like the Apostle Paul implored Timothy, fight the good fight of faith. When you are full of faith, remember to encourage those around you to stay the path, and fight on. The heroes of old are cheering you on, and so am I. God is with you. He loves you and His Word will never fail you.
Stay in faith, the BEST is yet to come.
Global Senior Pastor