1 Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, …
I remember as a young Christian I used to hear about fighting the fight of faith and I thought it meant that I would have to conjure up strength within myself to stand strong against whatever came at me as a child of God. The more I tried to do what I thought was fighting the faith fight, the more defeated I became. Things were not changing and so I figured I either was not fighting enough, or I did not yet have enough faith. The truth is fighting the fight of faith does not involve our own personal strength, but in fact faith knows that in our human weakness, that is when we can become quite strong.
The more I grew in my understanding of the Word, I began to see clearly how satan has gotten so many Christians to take up a fight in their own strength, which will never lead to a victory in Christ. As a matter of fact it will usually just wear you out. You often hear believers say they have to be strong, or that they are fighting against something that has come against them. When you look to scripture you begin to see that the fight of faith has nothing to do with us battling against what we may be facing, for scripture reveals that Jesus has already defeated our enemy. If this is true what are we fighting?
Col. 2:15 He stripped the rulers and authorities of their power and made a public spectacle of them as he celebrated his victory in Christ.
Through what Christ did for us God stripped the rulers of darkness and of course satan himself of their power, and even made a public spectacle of them through Christ’s victory. It is like going into a ring where a champion boxer has already knocked out our opponent for us, but then we come along and try to get them back and to fight against them ourselves. In fighting the fight of faith we actually keep satan where he belongs, under our feet. So let’s learn just what this fight of faith is so that we can walk in the victory Christ has already given us.
2 Cor. 4:13 The following is written, “I believed; therefore, I spoke.” We have that same spirit of faith. We also believe; therefore, we also speak.
For us to understand the fight of faith we simply need to define what faith actually is and how it works. This is where people make their mistake. Even though most could tell you what I am about to share about faith that does not mean we are walking by faith. As humans we tend to drift back into doing things the way man does things, and not the way God does things. Even if you know what faith is and how it works we are told in scripture to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith or not. Often you hear people say they are believing God for something, but upon further examination of what they are saying and doing it is quite clear they are not walking in Bible faith. If we are not then we are not fighting the fight of faith.
Paul gives us several very important keys here in 2 Corinthians 4:13 about faith. First of all he tells us that we have been given the same spirit of faith. Some actually don’t think or don’t act as if they have the same faith as Jesus Himself had, but they do. There are not several types of the god-kind of faith. The faith you received when you got born again for we are all given a measure of faith is the same. It is not different from someone else’s. The second key element Paul reveals here is that faith first believes. This means faith is convinced of what God has said. But the word believe here means we have believed, we are believing, and we will continue to believe. To fight the fight of faith you must be convinced in what God has said about a subject. This comes from hearing the Word of God. Not what we have heard, but what we keep hearing. This is important to walking by faith.
Whenever we are faced with something that has come against us as a child of God we need to know what God’s Word says about the matter. This is one of the reasons why living in God’s Word is so vital for our walk of faith. We are to look into the Word of God and as we find scriptures that give us promise of what Christ has done we must then take those truths and meditate on them as the Bible teaches day and night. This means we continually speak them to ourselves and ponder them over and over. Jesus taught us this in the gospels for He said man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. He is giving us a comparison revealing that the same way in which we feed our physical man we must feed our spirit man. We do so by chewing on the Word of God, meditating on scripture. If we don’t make the effort to do so until the Word becomes a part of our inner consciousness we won’t be convinced of what God has said.
Many don’t realize that what is true of the natural is a type of what is true in the spirit realm. When you take food, chew on it, and then swallow that food gets down on the inside of your body. The body then goes to work drawing the nutrients out of that food to give you what is needed in the natural. So it is with the spirit man inside, the real you. Your soul is a part of your spirit. You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body. When you feed on God’s Word (meditate on it) you are chewing that Word with your soul. As you do it begins to go down on the inside of your spirit man providing the spiritual nutrients to build faith within you. Once that faith in the promise of God is developed you will be convinced of what God’s Word says about you. Until then you will lack what you need to fight the fight of faith.
The third thing Paul reveals to us from 2 Corinthians is that faith speaks. Just believing is not enough. Once faith rises within us we must then speak what we know is true. Faith calls those things that do not exist as though they did. Faith doesn’t say one day it will be, faith says it is so now. As Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for …”. Faith is now. God operates obviously in this same kind of faith, which in Romans 4:17 we are told that He calls what does not exist as though it did. One of the ways we can know we are fighting the good fight of faith is seen in our confession. As I mentioned earlier we may say we are believing God for something, but what do our words say. Are we calling things that don’t exist as though they do, or are we speaking contrary to God’s Word?
Let me point out here that it is not our confession that changes things, but a faith filled confession. As we are building faith we should be speaking to ourselves what God’s Word says. We should be declaring to ourselves what He says is already so. You see for example healing does not come first in the natural; it comes through your spirit. Residing in every born again believer is the same power that resides in Christ Jesus. We have the same Holy Spirit He has. It is this power that needs to get through our souls and into our bodies, which will bring healing. When we know we have been healed according to what Christ has done revealed by the Word, then our confession will agree with the Word. This is what must happen for faith to work. We are not fighting against the sickness in our body, we are fighting against the feelings in our flesh and our thoughts that try to convince us it is not so. When we know healing is ours and speak in line with the Word declaring it done we are on the way to receiving healing.
James 2:17 So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).
Last but not least faith does not just believe, faith does not just speak, faith also acts in line with what it knows is true. To walk by faith you must act as if the Word is so. Your actions are what bring forth the power into operation to see your situation change. When you are in faith, convinced of what God has promised, your confession will declare it already done, and you will have corresponding action with your faith. Without the corresponding action faith becomes destitute of power, inoperative and dead. You can’t just believe, you can’t just speak, you must also act.
Heb. 6:12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises.
When you fight the good fight of faith you do not fight against whatever has come against you, you fight against thoughts, feelings, and what you may hear from others that goes against what God’s Word says. You are consistently believing, speaking, and acting in line with God’s Word. We are told here in Hebrews to imitate those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises. The word perseverance here means to be consistent at it. You are not just to be in faith for a couple of days and then go back to speaking or acting out of line with what you have believed. We are not supposed to visit faith every now and then; we are to live by faith.
So make sure you are fighting the true fight of faith. You battle is not against sickness, diseases, or other storms of life because Jesus victoriously conquered our enemies. Our battle is with what we think, what we feel, or what we may hear, making sure we don’t lose our faith in God. We need to make sure we do not lose our confession in His Word, calling things that be not as though they already are, and making sure we keep acting in line with the Word. Those who are consistent in fighting the good fight of faith win. They partake of the promises they have inherited in Christ. That is the reason it is a good fight, because it is a fight we win, because Jesus has already won the battle for us!
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May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker