The Fight for Godliness
"But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." - 1 Timothy 6:11-12
We are engaged in an ongoing battle every day where our enemy is always prowling and plotting and pursuing the souls of men. The devil is always putting temptations our way and he has a game plan to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). The devil is good at what he does, which is to make evil look good. He has been at this for a long time...and has been studying the image bearers of God on this earth from the beginning.
He sought to be exalted like God in heaven and when that didn't work, he wanted to take the dominion that was given to man when he came into the Garden of Eden and sought to replace the authority of God by getting Eve to follow his voice. Satan has been deceiving people ever since and looking to destroy the human race from within.
He is going after you and your family...even now.
Our enemy continues to gain ground in this world through our willingness to sin and yet the devil loses ground wherever the Gospel is proclaimed and received and His people live the truth in faith and walk and speak the truth in love. Satan, along with the evil spirits and principalities that work with him, stands in battle array against God's people with a similar audacity and arrogance as Goliath once did when he cast his insults and accusations against God's people.
But we have a mighty shepherd king in Jesus, our David, who was willing to stand on our behalf and crush the head of the giant we call the devil. Jesus is the Rock of Ages who has defeated the enemy through His sacrificial and atoning death and His victorious resurrection. Jesus gave the final blow to the enemy when He declared, "IT IS FINISHED!" on the cross of Calvary (John 19:30).
Our enemy wants us to be allured by the things of creation and make them more important to us than our Creator. This is how idolatry works. In the days when Israel first asked for a king in order to be like the world, we see a powerful secret revealed: Those who love and like the world will become just like the world. For we become like the God or gods we worship.
That is why we must become true worshippers of God who worship Him "in spirit and truth". We must flee the sinful practices that we have all participated in and devote our entire lives to pursuing Christ and His kingdom and righteousness above all else. This is a fight not of physical strength where we fling a stone from a slingshot but rather a fight of faith where we sing His praises and daily renew our minds and live in light of what God says to us!
We must put on the full armor of God and stand firmly on the ground that Christ has won for us. For HE is our Promised Land. And we cannot afford to give any of the ground God has given us to the devil. We must "lay aside every weight and sin that so easily entangles us and run the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:1-2)
If you have faith then you are in this fight. TRUE FAITH FIGHTS! Our enemy is fierce and relentless but we know that if our God is with us and for us then the battle belongs to Him and we have already won. 1John 4:4 says, "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because HE who is in you is GREATER than he who is in the world."
PREPARING FOR THE FIGHT
In this new year, we must realize that the spirit of the antichrist is growing stronger and the enemy knows that his time is short. He is fighting against you but we must not focus on the enemy but on our Shepherd.
- IDENTITY - How are your renewing your mind to who you are in Christ?
- INSTRUCTION - What changes are you making to live like Christ and pursue Him?
- INCITATION - How are you losing your fight of faith by making provision for sin?
Our role in the fight is to be in love with and to pursue the One who defeated our enemy!