Oftentimes I find myself skimming over words in the Bible that are very familiar without even stopping to digest what they are really saying. Today as I was doing Day 3 in the Thistlebend Bible Study–– Run the Race. There were six words that jumped out at me: “Fight the Good Fight of Faith.” I think the reason they resonated with me is because I have struggled so much in the sin of “unbelief” lately, and I believe the Holy Spirit might want me to stop just agreeing by saying “Yes, Amen!” when I hear those words exclaimed. He has slowed me down to ask me if I even know what I’m giving my “Hallelujah!” to. I must admit, He got my attention. So I began asking myself what it really looks like, practically speaking, to fight the Good Faith Fight. And even further, why I would have to fight it since Christ declared “It Is Finished!” as He was dying on the Cross.
In the Going Deeper section of Day 3 in the Thistlebend Study––Run the Race, Laurie cautioned us to be careful—to not be deceived, reminding us that “Suffering and sacrificing, competing, and working hard in and of themselves will not accomplish holiness.” As she continued to compare and contrast being earthly and heavenly minded, she also reminded us that we are not to put down our roots in the temporal because we are sojourners, travelers, nomads, and aliens in this world. Then she went on to say that as we seek to fight the good fight of faith we must be sure not to think just because we might be looking real good on the outside, that we have fooled anyone. Well, it was at this point I knew I must diligently search out what these words mean; what they meant when Paul spoke them to Timothy; what other commentators have said about them; but especially since they were addressing a sin of mine directly…what God is speaking to my soul.
Nothing but faith can enable us to rise above “circumstances.” It did so in the case of the two apostles, who, with feet fast in the stocks, with backs bleeding and smarting, sang praises to God in Philippi’s dungeon; that was faith victorious over most unpleasant circumstances. We can almost imagine each reader saying, “Alas, my faith is so weak.” Ah, ponder again this word; “Fight the good fight of faith.” Note the repetition! It is not easy for faith to rise above circumstances; no, it is not. It is difficult, at times, extremely difficult; so the writer has found it. But remember, a “fight” is not finished in a moment, by one blow; oftentimes the victor receives many wounds and is sorely pounded before he finally knocks-out his enemy. So we have found it, and still find it: the great enemy, the “flesh” (self) gives the “new man” many a painful blow, often floors him; but, by grace, we keep on fighting. Sometimes the “new man” gets the victory, sometimes the “old man” does. “For a just man falleth seven times and riseth up again” (Prov. 24:16).
I thought I would share it with you because, as believers, I think we all fight similar battles. Please click on the link below to bring up the full article. It is so full of Scriptures admonishing us to fight the faith fight and teaches us how. In it, Pink gives us two instances where:
“Christ Himself has “left us an example!” And what do we learn from these solemn and sacred incidents? This: the only weapon we are to use is the Sword of the Spirit; and, victory is only to be obtained on our knees—“with strong crying and tears.” The Lord graciously enables us so to act. O that each of us may more earnestly seek grace to fight the good fight of faith.”
I think it goes without saying that I strongly believe the lack of faith, and doing nothing about it, is a very dangerous sin left unattended to.
In closing, I’m drawn to the Scripture that Laurie touched on during this particular segment of the study from Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” I know that I MUST look into His Word further to KNOW what He is speaking to me. I must learn what I’m fighting, why I’m fighting, and how to fight according to the Word of God.
[i] Arthur W. Pink (1 April 1886 – 15 July 1952) was an English Christian evangelist and Biblical scholar known for his Calvinist and Puritan-like teachings.