Fight….. August 16, 2020
Fight the good fight of faith. 1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
We all have battles, but the question is, how will you fight? Will you fight in your own strength or in his? (God’s) Also one must identify the enemy, for how can a person fight successfully if they do not know their enemy? This past week I heard an illustration that makes this point well. Have you ever observed a bullfight? The crowd looks on as the matador waves a red cape, which the bull charges. The bull’s energy is placed upon attacking the cape, but the cape is not the enemy. The cape is a distraction that is under the control of the matador. In reality, the matador is the one that will eventually thrust the sword into the bull. The cape has no power, but to surrender to the movement of its master. Satan will distract us into fighting the object or people we believe to be the enemy. He twists, distorts, and does all he can to distract a person, so they will not see him as the matador…. the one who destroys life. Make no mistake, Satan’s desire is to drop you in your tracks. Satan is the enemy of all that God has made good. Therefore, as a Christian, Satan is your enemy as well. It is of utmost importance for you to know and understand that you are no match for this deceiver in your own strength. So how do we defeat this enemy? Truth is we don’t…. God already has and will do so in the Christian when they submit to Him. We must….
USE GOD’S WORD:
Jesus, when tempted by Satan, used scriptures / God’s word to battle the temptation. ( Read Matthew 4:1-11) Never forget that the word of God is powerful. The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. Hebrews 4:12a ESV When dressing for battle we are instructed to… take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17b ESV Without the strength of God in your life, you will fail, but with God, you could move the mountain that would otherwise overwhelm you. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV He said to them, “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20b ESV
KNOW YOUR ENEMY:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. John 10:10a ESV … Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV … For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 ESV We are not each other’s enemy, rather it is the devil that powers and influences all the evil we see happening in the world and in lives. Do not be distracted by the cape. Jesus knew why Peter denied him, (Luke 22:31) the disciples fled, (Matthew 26:56) Judas betrayed him. (Luke22:3) The reason people are involved or behave badly is that they are controlled and deceived by Satan. You fight against evil in the power of prayer. When Jesus was dying on the cross, he wasn’t distracted by the cape when he prayed…. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34a ESV When you have the mind of Christ, it will enable you to love and pray for the one whom the enemy uses to bring about the evil.
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41 ESV The strength to live as a Christian is coupled with prayer. Read all of Romans 12:9-21 to see how as Christians we should live, but let me highlight two specific verses in this passage…. be constant in prayer. vs12a …. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. vs21. You will never overcome Satan by using the same tactic he uses. In fact, that is exactly what he wants you to do … to become the very thing you despise. When hate enters the life of a person, most often they will become a version of that hate in reverse. We become what we focus upon. If we focus upon hate …we become hateful. If we focus upon the love of God .. we grow more into the image of our Savior. That is why it is so important to pray. Prayer is communication with God, and it is important to remember that in communication we should listen more than we talk. Otherwise it is not communication, but a lecture, and who could lecture God concerning anything. God will lead you when you walk in unison with him, and you walk in unison with him when you pray and then listen for his voice speaking to you from his word… the Bible.
Let me encourage you to Pray this passage as a prayer. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting! Psalm 139:23 ESV
Use the word of God as a weapon against Satan. I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Palms 119:11 ESV
Listen to God in your prayer…conversation times with him. Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it! Luke 11: 28 ESV
May you at the end of Life be able to say as Paul… “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 ESV
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David