Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fight The Good Fight of Faith

1 Tim 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

What exactly does our Lord mean, fight the good fight of faith?  The first and most obvious thing that jumps out there is it is a fight!  This is not stroll the good stroll through the park of faith it is fight, the good fight of faith.  So right off the bat we understand this is not something easy, it involve combat, struggle, hardship, perseverance.  This writer believes most of this understanding is lost on this generation.  What do you mean brother?  Lets try an example to illustrate.  The Lord made us many promises, one of which is here:

Psalm 34

      4I sought the LORD, and He answered me,
            And delivered me from all my fears.
      5They looked to Him and were radiant,
            And their faces will never be ashamed.
      6This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
            And saved him out of all his troubles.

Looking above at verse 4 which says  4I sought the LORD, and He answered me,
            And delivered me from all my fears.

What happened here ^^.  1.  I sought the Lord 2. He answered me 3.  He delivered me from all my fears.  What the Lord has written to us here is quite straightforward.  What is not so straightforward is how people respond to what is written above.  The question is when people read promises like this do they respond in faith or do they respond to it otherwise?

"What do you mean brother?"  Meaning this, let us compare and contrast believer a and believer b.  Believer a reads the promises above and says to themselves "well, the Lord may answer other people but He does not answer me!" or  "I certainly have not been delivered from all my fears, I am fearful every day!" or in verse 6 "and what is this about saved out of all his troubles, I don't know who He is talking about but it certainly is not me!"  Are responses such as these "fighting the good fight of faith?"  No, its more like capitulation.  Where is the fight in rolling over and playing dead with the promises of Almighty God?

Compare believer a with believer b below.

Believer b reads the promises above and looks back at their life considering all of the times they were delivered and gives thanks for it.  Believer b considers his present fears and says to himself "I will be delivered from todays fears just like the Lord delivered me from yesterdays fears.  Believer b looks at verse 6 and says "yes and amen, the Lord has delivered me from many troubles but all of my troubles will not be over until I stand before Him.  Surely the Lord will deliver me from todays troubles just as He has delivered me from yesterdays troubles."

Some may say "well brother thats fine but what about troubles that have been ongoing for years?"  I have inquired of the Lord about this, how can some saints have troubles that last years, seemingly never with deliverance up through today?  The answer is multifaceted.  1.  How have the saints responded to the fear or trouble from day 1 through today?  Have they fought the good fight of faith or have they capitulated multiple times/times without end?  Has their attitude been "You Lord cannot lie, You promised it now you have to deliver on it!" or have they said to themselves "well I guess I'm just stuck with this problem/situation/trouble.  Maybe the Lord answers other people but He sure doesn't answer me.?"

The variations on this ^^ theme are as endless as people are upon the earth.  If the Lord has allowed something to stay in your life that you have fought the good fight of faith over, have you inquired of the Lord to determine whether or not you should continue the good fight over this issue?  What do you mean brother?  Example here:

2 Cor 2:12 7Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong

What happened?  A thorn was given to Paul.  What did Paul do?  Paul says " 8Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me." and what happened?  Did the Lord take away the thorn?  No.  Did Paul get his answer?  Yes.  9And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

At this point some would say "well see, Paul wasn't "saved out of all his troubles."  To which I would counter, Paul did get his answer.  We could go around and around with this and many do and all the while the Lord is within us and all around us watching, observing our response to our fears, troubles and problems.  What is it that moves our Lord to action?  Faith, combat/fighting faith that says the Lord promised it, I believe Him and I am going to get my answer or I am going to die in the process of trying to get it.

What is the Lord looking for?  FAITH

Luke 17:6  And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you.

Luke 18:8 "I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

Does the Lord mean what He says?  Does the Lord say what He means?  Can the Lord's Word be trusted?  This writer has been sent to tell you YES, YES, YES and AMEN.

Matthew 9:29 

29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”

If you have had problems and have not been fighting the fight of faith, you know what your real problem is.  If you have problems and you have been fighting the good fight of faith you need an answer from the Lord as to why that problem/obstacle/mountain has not been moved yet.  Let me be clear, we all have problems all the time but the Lord has made us promises about our problems, fears and troubles.  Let me also remind you that I am the least of the servants of the Most High God and no I do not understand somethings He does.  I cannot plumb the depths of the eternal wisdom and knowledge of our God to silver spoon feed answers to every question and answer that arises concerning our God.  I am a nobody.  That said, I do know this.  Our God expects fighting faith from us.  He expects it and He responds to it.  Consider the following:

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

This message has been on my heart for months and it is just now (being sick today of all times) that the Lord gave me the right words to communicate it.  This world is headed into the time of Jacob's trouble.  Babylon is rising all around us.  Babylon must rise so it can then fall

Rev 14:8 A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’[a] which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”

We must hold onto 1.  our faith and 2. His Word to ask and receive answers continually.  We are needy dependent creatures by design.  We were never told to go out and do great things on our own power in our own wisdom with our own limited strength. He, our God is an ever present source of help, power, protection and support for us who believe

Psalm 46:1. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

It is absolutely critical that we fight this fight, in by and through faith.  If any of us is lacking, we should ask so we may be given what we lack.  The Lord does answer prayer, that is my testimony.  The Lord performs spectacular miracles on behalf of His people right now today, that is my testimony.  That testimony was forged in the fires of combat, the good fight of faith.  The answers and miracles are real, received and acknowledged by this absolute nobody who writes to you today.  If the Lord works on behalf of this absolute nobody what will He do for you, the beloved of the Lord?

In the days ahead we will have to stand on our faith in greater measure than ever before.  In case you haven't noticed this world has turned into a giant cesspool.  Our job is to be lights in the darkness.  In a pitch black room, a tiny tiny light can drive away an incredible amount of darkness.  We must be those tiny lights.  Hang onto your faith which is of greater worth than gold and is a primary target of our enemy the devil:

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

And remember to fight.  Fight the good fight of faith.

grace and peace