THE GOOD FIGHT
As humans we are born with certain instincts. An instinct is a behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level. The most prevalent instinct we have as human beings is self-preservation, the act of keeping oneself from destruction or harm. It is also a natural or instinctive tendency to act so as to preserve one's own existence.
One of the things that separates humans from the others physical beings is our ability to apply logic or to “reason”. Yet and still, when we find ourselves in a situation where we believe we may be harmed, our instinctual nature will take over and we’ll find ourselves in a fight or flight situation.
What is the genesis of fighting? Fighting is caused by a conflict of ideals, also known as a disagreement. But just because we disagree doesn’t mean it will end in a fight. Fighting happens when the parties involved have different interests such that they cannot both be simultaneously met and/or in situations the will of another person is imposed on you regardless of your objection. These things cause fights.
Is there ever a good fight? YES! When God has promised us something; or when God has given us an inheritance; or when a righteous cause is at stake - sometimes we must fight in order to realize these things. In the Old Testament era, that meant a literal, physical fight. In the New Covenant, we are called to fight as well. But in this era we are called to a spiritual fight. This isn’t a fight fought by physical means. Ephesians 6:12 makes it clear to us that the fight we must fight is not against flesh and blood or physical beings, but against evil rulers and authorities of the invisible world, and against wickedness in heavenly places.
We have at least three major forces that we fight against: ourselves, the world (world’s system) and the devil.
The Apostle Paul admonished his son in the Gospel, Timothy, to flee all spiritually harmful influences and seek the qualities and characteristics which are consistent with the ‘good fight of faith’. [2 Tim 6:11-12] We must engage in warfare. And, we’re to do it as a good soldier. What do soldiers endure? They endure suffering and hardship. As Christians we don’t want to have to endure struggles and hardships. Somehow we’ve bought into the idea that this Christian walk shouldn’t cost us anything. That is a fallacy and the reality is it may cost us much. So, the first fight is against ourselves and what it costs us is death to our carnal (natural) nature.
Jesus Himself said that if we [followers of Christ] were of the world, the world would love us. But because we are called out of the world, the world will hate us. One reason why you may not be hated by the world is because you look like them. A great many believers are trying to fit in with the world’s system. But don’t be deceived by the world’s supposed “acceptance”. 1 John 2:15 instructs us not to love the world or the things in it. God is opposed to the way in which the world operates. When you love the world, you cannot have the true love of God in you because it is diametrically opposed to God’s ways.
As soldiers of Jesus Christ, we are admonished to have on God’s full armor at all times so that we’re able to stand up against the devil’s strategies and tactics [Eph 6:11-18]. The Bible warns us not to be ignorant of his strategies. [2 Cor 2:11] One of his best strategies is his ability to deceive. The moment anything goes wrong in our lives, we start giving credit to the devil. He is not all-powerful, all-knowing nor can he be everywhere at once. Remember that Jesus said in the world we will have trouble. This is part of the human condition. So, stop giving the devil credit for everything that isn’t going right in your life. We must acknowledge that sometimes God uses adverse situations to make us stronger and to teach us.
Know this -the cause of Jesus Christ is worth fighting for because it is a good fight. Don’t give up the fight! With the help of the Lord you can overcome every battle and ultimately win the war. Remember what the Lord God said to Joshua, “Only be thou strong and very courageous.” Use your God-given instincts and continue to fight the good fight.