Fighting the Good Fight Of Faith


Paul said, "Fight the good fight of faith." This world is a battleground of spiritual forces. If we are spiritual beings, it is impossible that we should hold ourselves neutral and stand apart from those forces that are in conflict. We must stand on one side or the other of the battle array. Jesus has said, "He that is not with me is against me." Since we must be in the conflict whether we will to be or not, it behooves us to be on the right side. When we know that we are on the right side, then the thing of greatest importance to us is the method of our warfare. Since we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers of evil, it is not strange that our weapons should be "not carnal" weapons, which are effective against material foes, but those spiritual weapons that are "mighty through God."

One great outstanding fact in this battle of life is that it is necessarily a battle of faith. As I observe some people's methods of trying to fight this Christian warfare, it seems to me that they are rather fighting the fight of unbelief or of doubts. Instead of being confident with the confidence that true faith gives, they are all the time fearful. They are never certain they are going to win. They are never certain that their methods are going to prevail. They are always trembling and uncertain. When they do gain a victory, it seems more like a piece of good fortune than the result of their fighting. When they see a conflict coming, they shrink from it and look for some way to evade it. They are filled with fear of the outcome. Sometimes they fight in desperation and win; and when they see that they have won, they are surprised. They were almost sure that they would lose the battle; they were almost certain of defeat, but in some way they won. That victory, however, does not give them much courage to meet the next conflict. They meet it with the same fearfulness, with the same unbelief, with the same doubt. There is not the joyful note of victory in their song. They do not face the future with confident expectation of winning. They are continually harassed with their doubts; they are constantly troubled with forebodings. It is better to fight thus than not to fight at all, but there is a better way than this to fight.

Faith is the mightiest of all weapons. When our spirits are armed with faith, we may go confidently into any battle. We may have expectation of winning. We may know before we fight that victory is ours. We may face our adversary with calm confidence and with a consciousness of an indwelling power that is greater than his power. Has not God said, "Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world? If our faith claims that to be so, then God will make it so to us.

We must have faith in God. He is our leader. The army that does not have confidence in the ability and courage of its leader is half defeated before it goes into battle. Most of us, I think, have confidence in God's ability as a leader, and in his power and wisdom, and believe that he is able to overcome our foes. It is not his ability that we doubt. The only question that confronts us is, "Will he use that power to conquer our enemies?" We see that he has made many promises. It is easy to believe, in a general way, that they will be fulfilled; but when it comes to making direct applications to the situations that we meet, it is there that faith sometimes fails. Will God fight for us on this special occasion? Will God help us now? Will he really make good his word to us? Or will he fail us in the critical moment?

If God's promises are true, then the ones that relate to our particular needs are true, and they are true now. If they are true to others, they are true to us, for God is no respecter of persons. And if they are true to us, they are true to us now as well as they were yesterday or will be tomorrow. It is so easy to think that God would help others. They are more worthy then we are. Do you feel this way? Do you feel that if it were somebody else in your place, you could easily have faith that God will help you?

This brings us to the next important thought: We must have faith in ourselves as well as in God. We must have faith in our integrity and loyalty. Do we mean real business for God? Have we thrown ourselves unreservedly on the side of God in this battle? Do we intend with all our souls to fight the good fight of faith? Do we have it really settled that we are going to do the right? So many want to do the right, but they are not sure that they will do it. They mean to do it, but they are constantly afraid that they will fail in doing it. This is not faith. Have confidence in yourself, not only in your loyalty and integrity and purpose to serve God, but also in your ability to do it. You can do it. You can do it as well as any one else. That doubt and fearfulness that you have will only be a hindrance to you. Get rid of it. Develop confidence in yourself--not overconfidence that depends upon yourself, but that true confidence that depends on God helping you and arms you with courage and trust in God and in yourself.

You must also have confidence in your weapons. Our weapons are "mighty through God," we are told. God has told you how to win; and just as surely as you follow his instructions and trust in him for results, he will cause you to wear the victor's crown. Our cause is a righteous one. Have faith in that cause, and know that right must triumph. But remember that you cannot win unless you put your faith into your fighting. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith." Believe that you will win. No matter how weak you are, no matter how great your foe, no matter what may confront you, go into the conflict with that courage that is born of faith. Believe that God will give you the victory. Do no consider defeat at all. Let your faith mount up, and say: "I can win, and I will win. In God I will conquer." Throw away your doubts. Make an end of them. Trust in God. His word is true. You can believe it if you will, and believing it, you shall be more than conqueror through him that loves you.

 

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