This morning I was reminded of the Apostle Paul’s famous words towards the end of his life. With deep conviction he declared to his spiritual son Timothy that he had fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. Paul had discerned that his time on earth was coming to an end and he was looking forward to the crown of righteousness that awaited him in heaven.
Earlier on, in his first letter to Timothy, Paul had exhorted him also to fight the good fight of faith. (1 Timothy 1:18, 6:12). No doubt there would have been times when Timothy became battle-weary and tempted to retreat. I can identify with that struggle, and perhaps some of you can too. We may want to see God’s Kingdom advanced here on earth, but this won’t happen without struggle, and God-empowered determination on our part. We’re in a spiritual battle after all, and though victory has already been won, the battle still needs to be fought.
If you think that our enemy is going to willingly retreat, you’re greatly mistaken. Even as a defeated foe he stands in determined defiance before God and His army (you and I). He will fight to the bitter end and contest every inch of ground that we dare to take in Jesus’ name.
We need to continue to push forward nevertheless, not in our own strength and ability, of course, but in God’s strength. Ephesians 6:10 resounds loudly in my ears. ‘Finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.’ In the name of Jesus, he has to flee!
The devil is just like Goliath, who dared to defy the armies of the Living God (1 Samuel 17). We need to operate in the same spirit that David operated in. He prophesied the downfall of this giant, and then ran with vigour towards the battle line. It was not that he was blind to how big Goliath was, as it was obvious to all that he was a formidable enemy. It’s just that, compared to the bigness of David’s Almighty God, Goliath was nothing.
Don’t we serve the same God as David did? Of course we do. Mighty warrior and precious child of God, hold high your shield of faith, tighten your belt of truth, position your breastplate of righteousness, grasp firmly the sword of Spirit and fight the good fight of faith.
I’m also speaking to myself as I pen these words. Robert Moffat said that ‘We shall have all eternity in which to celebrate our victories, but we have only one swift hour before the sunset in which to win them’. How true those words are. Fight on! Fight on! Fight on! A crown of righteousness awaits you.
Prayer: Father God, open my spiritual eyes so that I can see that there are many more for me, than against me (2 Kings 6:17). Thank You that the battle has already been won, when Jesus disarmed the principalities and powers on the cross (Colossians 2:15). Amen.
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