Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 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...I charge you in the presence of God,...keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 6:11-14). C.H. Spurgeon once quipped, “I would recommend you either believe God up to the hilt, or else not to believe at all. Believe this book of God, every letter of it, or else reject it. There is no logical standing place between the two.” Life is all about choices. It seems to me I face a daily barrage of choices—some minuscule some not. It’s the “some not” with which I am most concerned. These choices often look me square in the eyes with a simple yet profound question—will I believe God? And by “believe” I do not mean passive acknowledgement but active faith. I meet people all the time, from all walks of life, who readily acknowledge they believe the Bible yet for some reason fail to make a personal, life-changing commitment to Jesus Christ. They refuse to join the fight—the good fight of faith which Paul admonishes us to fight in his first letter to young Timothy. I am convinced if one is not fighting the good fight of faith then he or she probably doesn’t belong to God. The good fight of faith is a serious matter, indeed—one I like to describe with the phrase “Fight for Joy!”
How do we fight for joy? In 1 Timothy 6:11-14, Paul offers three principles we must employ as we fight for joy. First of all, we are challenged to flee from some things while pursuing other things. To put it plainly, we are told to flee from a desire for earthly treasures and instead pursue a heavenly treasure—Christ Himself. We do this as we “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” Secondly, we are told to get in and stay in the fight—the good fight of faith. This is where I am faced with the question of will I believe God? If my answer is yes then the next part is not necessarily easy but it is settled— how long will I believe God? Paul says I am to fight the good fight of faith until I “take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.” In other words, I fight for joy—the good fight of faith—until I see Jesus either at my death or the Rapture of the Church, whichever comes first. He drives his point home with a third principle: “Keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In other words, keep on believing until Jesus comes. I like the old Southern Gospel hymn--Keep on the Firing Line— which says, “If you’re in the battle for the Lord and right, keep on the firing line; if you win, my brother, surely you must fight, keep on the firing line; there are many dangers that we all must face, if we die still fighting it is no disgrace; cowards in the service will not find a place, so keep on the firing line.” Friend, keep fighting the good fight of faith until you see Jesus! Like Paul, be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). This is the Word of the Lord!
C.S. Lewis once said, “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it?” It is easy for me to say I believe God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do. But it is only when life throws me a curveball and the bottom drops out and I’m stripped of everything but Jesus that I truly discover what I really believe. Then the question as to whether or not I will believe God becomes very real and of utmost importance. Don’t wait until the bottom drops out. Settle right now—once and for all—no matter what happens you will believe God and that belief won’t be merely passive acknowledgement but an active and vibrant faith in the one who has promised, “He who believes in Him will not be disappointed” (1 Peter 2:6).
You are welcome to leave comments and you don't have to necessarily agree with me. However, I expect a civil tone and charitable spirit. We can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt." (Colossians 4:6)
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