I am not a fighter; at least not one to get into physical confrontations. I can think of only three times in my life when I got into a physical confrontation with someone. The first time was in 6th grade when the younger brother of a classmate cut in front of me in line. For someone reason I got mad and pushed him off the balance beam. Let me tell you, my classmate and his friends were not afraid of physical confrontations. The second was in high school during cross country practice. A guy was taunting me while running ahead of me. I eventually lost it and came up behind him, bear hugged him and then dropped him to the ground. I have never run fast in my life after that one. And the third time was my freshman year in college. We were playing video games in a dorm room and a guy was chiding me over and over again because he was winning. Eventually I whirled around and, with a closed fist hit, him square in the chest; knocking him off his chair. Thankfully the other guys separated us; protecting me from getting pounded by him.
You can definitely see a theme here. I am not a fighter but I am a fighter about things that truly do matter.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. [1 Timothy 6:12 ESV]
Paul is encouraging young Timothy to fight the fight of faith. This was not a call to get into physical confrontations with people but rather to stand tall and hold firm to the faith he has professed. There are many that are going to resist the message of the Gospel. In that case, you fight the fight of faith by continuing to proclaim the Gospel message without watering it down.
Satan will attack you and attempt to draw you away from God. In that case, you fight the fight of faith through prayer and scripture reading and worship and fellowship with other Christians. You stand tall and not be ashamed of the Gospel; knowing that you are a forgiven sinner through faith in Jesus.
Others will chide you for believing something that is “outdated” or “irrelevant”. In that case, you fight the fight of faith; remembering the Gospel proclaimed to you and the fact that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13).
Still others will try to stifle your exercise of your faith in Jesus Christ. In that case, you fight the fight of faith and not be ashamed of the one who is not ashamed of you; Jesus. But also remembering that there is a place at the Great Banquet table, in God’s kingdom, waiting for you. Therefore you have a hope to cling to in the midst of pressure.
Fighting may not come naturally for you but I am guessing that when it involves something that really matters, you would respond. If someone were to threaten my family I would not hesitate to put myself into a confrontational situation in order to protect them. They matter to me; and so does my faith. So in both cases I will fight for them.
I fight the fight of faith because the Gospel of Jesus Christ means life and salvation and that is something I am not willing to compromise. To compromise my faith; to water down the message; to back down from my proclamation, is death for sinners. I can’t do that and so I will stand tall; asking God for strength to stand.
Jesus fought for you by suffering death on the cross that your sins would be forgiven. So fight for your faith in this Jesus, in whatever form it comes; but do so in love; remembering that God will ultimately fight for you. Don’t push and shove people; don’t verbally attack or put down people, but stand for your faith; giving glory to God through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Holy Father, grant me the courage to stand tall when I am pushed. Grant me the faith to fight back Satan’s attacks. Grant me the peace live in this world in the midst of faith confrontations. And in the end, Oh God, may you be glorified. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
The Pastor -|—