Do you ever wonder what it means to fight the good fight of faith? Faith is so much more than what we sometimes think. Faith is a power. It is a force to be reckoned with. Faith is part of our armor. It’s our shield of faith that quenches the fiery darts of the enemy. It’s not a wishy-washy shield of hope.
According to the Bible we have all been given a measure of faith. The Bible also tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith. So we know we have faith but it’s up to us to decide to actually use the faith that we have been given. We can’t expect our shield of faith to quench the fiery darts if it’s laying in our closet or under the bed.
If you’ve had to stand in faith for something for a long time or even for a short time, you and I both know it truly can feel like a battle. Anytime we decide to take a stand in faith we will have to contend for the victory. In our thoughts, with our words and on our knees in prayer.
Why are we sometimes so surprised when things in our lives go wrong? In John 16:33 part of the verse tells us “in this world you shall have tribulation”. That’s pretty clear. It tells us we will have tribulation. It doesn’t say when we come to Jesus our lives become trouble free. BUT (and it’s a big but) it’s the rest of the verse we need to put our focus on.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” So we see that even when we are standing and contending,when we are in Jesus we can have peace in our situation. And we can do it in good cheer. He has already overcome the world. We already have the victory. Through Jesus.
Sometimes, when we are standing in faith and fighting a battle it can be a long and weary journey. There may even be times we feel like we are standing alone. It may seem as if everyone around us thinks we are wrong. Some may say we are being naive to believe. We may feel truly alone, forsaken even. That is a lie of the enemy. The Word tells us that the Lord has said He will never leave us nor forsake us. Even if everyone else were to abandon us the Lord never will.
There are times in these battles that one of the enemies we are fighting may be our own selves. A great part of these battles of faith take place in our own minds. In our thoughts, our words and our hearts. What or who are we really believing? If we are saying with our mouth, we know we have the victory , does that correspond to what we are really believing in our heart? Or is there some doubt or unbelief that has crept in? The greatest part of the battle can often be to get our hearts or our beliefs, our thoughts and our words to all line up with what God has to say about us or our situation.
Have you noticed that when we are believing in faith for someone else’s need it can be a lot easier to do than when we are standing for our own needs? Like when we are believing for a financial need and the mortgage still needs to be paid. Or when we are believing for a child to be delivered from something and we still see the problem or behavior in front of us. Or we are believing for our healing yet all we see is our body that still has the symptoms. The problem is right there in our face.
Those are the times when our thoughts and our minds can struggle the most. But it’s when we give place to those thoughts and attitudes that we can be in the most danger of losing our battle.
We all get thoughts come into our mind that we don’t want. If we are not careful and mindful of what we allow in, we can start to believe those thoughts, instead of what the Word says. Any thought that does not line up with the Word of God is from the enemy. You know the kind of thought I mean. You’re believing for finances and you get the thought that you will lose everything. Or you get that thought that the Lord doesn’t care about you. You poor thing. He’s not going to heal you. When we allow these kind of thoughts to take root in our minds we know we have given place to the enemy. We have dropped our shields and swords and sat down.
Most of us have been there at one time or another. We get tired of fighting so we just give up and give in. Maybe we fall into self pity or we get angry, maybe even angry at God. Or we sink into depression. That is not the place the Lord has prepared for us to take in battle. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. 2 Cor 2:14 tells us “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” The Lord has prepared us to fight from a place of victory not of defeat.
The good news is no matter where we may be in our faith journey today, we don’t have to stay where we are. If we have given up the fight or missed the boat we can get back in the fight. We can repent, stand back up, pick up our shield and our sword, take the authority that has been given to us as believers and carry on.
Sure, your faith might have been tested. Maybe you feel like you’ve failed and it’s over. Rest assured that is not the case. The Lord wants us to win our battles. The only way we lose is if we give up. We need to keep our focus on Jesus. That is how we will win the battle.
If we spend all our time focusing on ourselves and our problems it’s hard to see beyond ourselves. We are all part of the Body of Christ. We each have a part to play, and we need each other. That is why we need to support each other and hold up the arms of the one who is struggling. If we are only focused on ourselves how can we help others? How can we accomplish anything for the Lord? Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
James 1:2-4 gives us some great advice for when our faith is being tested. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.