When I was at university, I had to do exams at the end of each semester like everyone else. Exams were stressful.
More than once, I remember turning up for an exam and waiting outside to be let in. I’d realise that I didn’t know anyone there, so I’d ask, “Which exam is this?” After being told that it was the wrong exam, I would fly across the campus to where my exam was being held.
I actually had nightmares would I would actually turn up at the examination room, and when the paper was placed in front of me, I’d get the shock of realising that I was in the wrong room and that this was the wrong exam.
We like the idea of grace, love, and forgiveness, but we don’t like the idea of having to fight so much. However, the Bible does use the analogy of a fight to describe the Christian life.
But what if we reached the end of our lives and we realised with horror that we’d been in the wrong fight all along, that we’d missed the point of our efforts in Christian living? You need to make sure that you’re fighting the right fight.
The Bible certainly does use fighting words to describe the Christian life. Here is one of those verses:
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called (1 Tim 6:12, NIV).
The fight of faith is called the “good fight” because everyone wins who trusts in Jesus.
We often have the wrong idea about what the fight of faith is all about. Some people think that it’s the fight to share your faith in a hostile culture. Sometimes we think that it’s the fight to always have perfect faith in every situation. Often we think that it’s the fight to overcome sin by sinning less and being holier. But that’s not what the fight of faith is all about at all. 1 Tim 6:12 teaches clearly that the good fight of faith is the fight to take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.
When I was a child, I used to think that my greatest spiritual struggle in life would be to follow the will of God, or to overcome specific sins and become a better person. How wrong I was! I’ve found out that that my constant and greatest spiritual struggle has been to take hold of the eternal life to which God has called me.
The issue is not God taking hold of us, but of our taking hold of the eternal life that God has already provided for us. In other words the human struggle is simply one of believing that what God has given us is true.
There are a million voices in your head that tell you that you are unworthy, that your performance defines your destiny, that your sin is too great, that eternal life is not yours. Your fight is to maintain your faith that what God says is true, to simply keep hold of the eternal life that God has already given you.
But notice that the Bible calls it “the good fight of faith.” It’s a good fight because everyone wins who trusts in Jesus.
Where are you at in your spiritual warfare? Make sure that you’re fighting the right fight. And make sure that you’re know how to win. If you do, it’s the greatest and most wonderful fight of all, because of all who believe, win.
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.