HOW DO WE ENGAGE IN THE FAITH FIGHT?
It is a faith fight because it has to do with something that we believe. We believe in Jesus and what He has given us. The fight has to do with retaining what the Bible says and not giving an inch to the devil.
1 Timothy 6:12 says ‘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’. It talks about confession.
In other words, Paul is telling Timothy, ‘You are a good man who has made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses’. Maybe he was referring to Timothy’s conversion and baptism where he was asked about his belief in Jesus. When he was being ordained, people would have prayed over him. He must have made a public declaration of his faith in Jesus and what Jesus meant to him.
The good fight of faith is fought with the good confession because God has created us like Himself. He is a speaking spirit. We are also speaking spirits who live in a body and have a mind. Since the fall, we have lost the knowledge of our identity and the power of our words. We have been created as speaking spirits to speak and create reality. God spoke and the world was created. What we speak is what we are going to have. Many people speak something, cause a big fight at home and then say that they didn’t mean it. Our words are powerful and must be used for positive confession, not for negative reality.
PACKING A PUNCH
We can pack a lot of things in the words that we speak. For e.g- Let’s take the word ‘Hello’. Suppose we meet a guy and say unenthusiastically, ‘Hello!’ It would imply that we don’t wish to really meet him. Since he came in front of us we will greet him out of courtesy. But when we meet another person and say in a joyful tone, ‘Hellooooo’, it reflects happiness. It means that we like him and are happy to meet him. But when we say in a menacing tone ‘HELLO!’, it sounds like a threat, bringing fear and terror.
When we are facing problems and difficulties, we can pack our words with such power that we can demolish everything that the devil is doing with words. In boxing, there is an expression called ‘packing a punch’. It refers to a situation where we can take a punch but we also return quite a few back. If we are still standing after getting punched, then the opponent’s punch wasn’t right. It is done by taking the right stand, getting in position, and lifting our hand correctly so that all the power goes into the punch. Similarly, we can intentionally pack our words with power. Many people pack their words with confusion, fear, terror, unbelief, doubt, depression, turmoil, difficulties and failure. We must pack our words with life, power, victory, healing and faith.
When Jesus was tempted by Satan, He intentionally and carefully chose His words. Satan told Jesus to turn stones into bread if he really was the Son of God. Jesus carefully chose the appropriate verse and told him that ‘man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’. He kept telling Jesus to prove Himself as the Son of God. Jesus’ reply with the Word constantly left the devil with no response.
Jesus is our example. We can fight the good fight of faith. When we are in doubt, depression and discouragement, we can take the Word and put it in our mouth and speak it. When we speak, the devil will start fleeing. The Bible tells us to resist the devil and he will flee from us.
WHAT IS THE FIGHT ABOUT?
Fight the good fight of faith, take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. – 1 Timothy 6:12(NIV)
We have been given eternal life. Eternal life is a lot of good things which are part of God’s will and that has been given to us through the redemptive work of Jesus on the Cross. Paul tells us to fight the good fight and lay hold of eternal life. There are some forces that are trying to rob us of the wonderful things given to us by Jesus’ death. We must stay strong and lay hold of it. We mustn’t give in.
When the Sower sows the seed/word in the heart soil, the devil comes in to take it away. He knows that he can’t stop progress in our life as long as we have the Word. He is not interested in us but the in Word inside us, which will produce a good harvest in us.
He worms his way in. When I used to travel by train to go to college, I would be standing in a packed train. Just before the train left, a fellow student would come and indicate he also wanted a foot space. Once I gave him space, he would little by little nudge forward and make himself comfortable while I would be pushed outside and hanging out. The devil is like that. He comes through a small crack that we give him through our words. He tempts us to turn loose our words. He lures us to talk carelessly without paying attention to the negativity of our words. He will say that our words don’t matter. Or that it is alright to talk, do, desire after something because it is just a small thing after all. That’s untrue. What we say is what we will have in life.
Satan says, ‘Turn loose’. God says, ‘Take hold’.
…to be continued…