Fight the Good Fight :: By John Lysaught

Life can be wearing. Not about God of course, but of being surrounded by everything opposite of God. I can’t seem to get a break; and if I’m feeling this, then I know you are too. Everything around us is either anti-Christian or working towards it. Even in my little place in this world, I feel it and I feel it is getting worse.

In a way, I feel tired. It tires me out to see the world in disarray. I mean, I don’t stress about it because it must happen, but it still wears me out. There is just a feeling of impending negative pressure to be a Christian now. I can’t explain it or put my finger on a specific example, but it is there; and I think you know what I mean.

I feel we are a dying breed in this world. Christians are being wiped out in the Middle East, they’re being put to the side for Muslims in Europe, and I feel that same fate is coming home to us here in the U.S. It seems like it is going to be death-by-a-thousand-cuts kind of thing. I just pray we are home with Jesus by this point. Though it makes me wonder how bad things will get before we are taken up or how much we have to endure before then.

I’m not greatly schooled in prophecy, but rely on you other smart people for that; but I do wonder how bad it will get, really get before Jesus comes to get us. How much can we endure? How persecuted must the Church (not just the U.S.) face before we go home? It troubles me. It troubles me to think of whether what is happening to Christians in the Middle East will happen to us – maybe not physically, but being politically murdered instead.

1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

Fighting the good fight is tiring. If you’ve ever done sports or have been in the military, going beyond what you are used to, or being pushed to the limits is so tiring. When this happens, you just want to stop, but you can’t because others may be relying on you to do your part. This is what we need to do for our faith – fight the good fight.

I remember once, as a police officer, I was in a fight along with my partner against some gang members. We were outnumbered six to two. As tired and exhausted and stressed as I was, I could not stop because my life and my partner’s life depended on it. As tired as I get with being in this fight for our faith, I can’t give up either because the eternity of others is at stake. If I give up the fight, how will I be an example to others or do the work of God for others. We all need to hold strong, no matter how tired we feel from the evil that confronts us.

Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

There is no doubt that the enemy is working overtime in our era. He thinks things are aligning for his victory, but we all know that is a farce – he has already lost the war. The battles are what we face each day though.

Recently, I have seen, in political circles, that the name Jesus is being invoked to further their agenda.  With the immigration debate, I saw a post on a social media site that said “what would Jesus do” about the border wall and how Jesus would be against it. I was taken aback by this. I answered the post with an evangelistic response with hopes it would at least touch a few people who saw it.

Our job is to not fight against people, but the evil that they believe and the lies put out by Satan through men. We should not fight evil with evil, but we need to fight evil with love and truth. There are many people who have been so blinded by the enemy that they can’t see past their noses. This is fighting the good fight, and we need to do so to the very end. We need to do our best, through love and compassion, to take the blinders off those deceived so they can see the true light of Jesus and the promises of His saving grace.

Is this easy? Nope, it sure isn’t. We live in a politically charged time that is greatly opposed to the truth of God. They believe in anything but God and do their best to silence us through the justice system and society. What are we to do? Stay silent? Bow down to those who detest us? NO! We must stand and be strong in our faith and beliefs.

1 Peter 5:8-9 tells us, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”

We are not alone in this world in our battle with Satan. There are countless others facing the same or worse than us here in the U.S. We all hold tight to the Truth of God, regardless of where we are from. We are all bound by the same faith and hope in Christ. We cannot shelter in place and hide in the shadows of the world. We need to spread the Word and the love of Jesus to the world.

Personally, I get a sense that there are a lot of folks who hide their faith from others for fear of offending others or being attacked by others who don’t believe or know the truth as we do. We can post memes on social media to proclaim our faith or put bumper stickers on our cars, but what about face-to-face with others? How can we fight ignorance if we are unwilling to give truth to others?

Once, a fellow church member of mine told me that he spreads the word of God through his example of living a good Christian life and that this was good enough for evangelism. Shoot, there are many unbelievers that live good lives too. Where are the interpersonal interactions with others? How many opportunities have we all missed to insert the love and truth of God into the conversation?

Opportunities abound to share the hope of Christ to others. I’ve missed them only to beat myself up afterwards because I didn’t think I could be a good spokesman for God. My boldness in Christ was weakened because of a lack of self-confidence, not in God, but in myself. These moments missed are regretful, but I can only work to do better next time and let the Holy Spirit speak through me to others.

How do we fight the good fight? Through constant prayer and study of the Word. A soldier can fight without training but will not be effective without training. For us to be effective, we must train. We train through study of the Word and through prayer. When we do this, we are strong in our faith, and our confidence will be greater.

Fighting the good fight is difficult. We live in trying times, and the fight will not end until we go home.  Through the Word and through prayer, we can help open the eyes of others for the Kingdom of God.  Don’t hide in the shadows but live boldly and proudly for Christ. There will be resistance, and you will face hate; but there will be those who respond, and they will see the light and will respond to the calling of our Father.