Wonder- Hillsong United

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Fight to Believe


I get daily verses sent to me by two different websites.  Today, I was really struck by one of them.  Here it is:

Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12 NLT

I had just been crying out to the Lord for a passion for Him like the apostle Paul had.  My heart has been cold, hard, and dull.  And here--what do we see? Paul said to fight the good fight for true faith.  It is a struggle. A constant struggle with unbelief.  Unbelief is not only not believing in the existence of God.  It is also to live in a way that does not in any way take into account the Living, Holy God -- who has called us for a specific purpose: to live a life of passionate commitment to the Lord and His plans for our lives.   Or to "throw God a bone" every once in a while; a "please help me" prayer or an "I'm sorry for ignoring you" and then to go on and continue to ignore Him.

No, God has called us to much more than that. He has called us to intimacy and wonder.  He has called us to worship and given us the magnificent gift of Prayer, by which we can profoundly impact our world.  If we don't live out these callings or take advantage of His gifts, we are living in unbelief.

Notice that Paul calls this struggle with our fleshly, sinful selves, a "good fight."  Why is it good? Wouldn't it be much better for us to simply obey and be faithful 100% of the time?  I don't think so.  While we are engaged in this battle we are under no illusions about the strength or the foulness of our own flesh (meaning the sinful self and it's desires for comfort, pleasure, and conquest).  Fighting causes us to use spiritual muscle.  And as you know, when muscles are used, they become strong.

Fighting this strong opponent will mean that we do lose some of the skirmishes.  It will give us a healthy respect for the strength of the enemy. And it will cause us to rely  more heavily on God.  We will learn to cry out to Him and to learn from Him how to do battle.

So yes. It is a good fight.  It will make us or break us.  It will separate the chaff from the wheat.  This too is good.  It will clearly demonstrate those who truly believe and those who believe for a season but are scorched by the sun, or die from lack of root. (see Matthew 13). 

For me, today, it was a good word. I am feeling spiritually dry and frustrated. I know I deeply believe in and love the Lord. I know I would die for Him....but to live day and in and day out struggling to remain faithful? Struggling to pray and to study? Struggling against besetting sin?  This is where I'm being tripped up.  And it was a deep encouragement to me to read that this is a GOOD fight.  I'm not a failure as a Christian.  Rather I am a battle weary warrior....who after pausing a bit, will once more take up the sword and shield and go to it with the enemy and my own flesh and I will fight stronger and smarter with every battle.

So when you feel like you are failing to walk to the walk...failing, in the privacy of your own heart, to passionately pursue God...do not hate yourself and throw in the towel.  Pick yourself up ...allow GOD to pick you up, wipe the mud off your face and send you once more into the fray.

It is a good fight. And it is made all the better to see that Paul and Timothy had to fight the same battle.  It is good to know that God not only understands our weakness...it's part of how He made us.  No one springs from the womb fully grown and clad in armor.  We are born weak.  Dependent.  And our whole lives are to be dedicated to the pursuit of God and a life of holiness.  And it is a good fight.
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