“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (II Tim. 4:7).
I have fought the GOOD FIGHT. Paul recognized the difference between a fight worth having and one that was not. He had “picked his battles” against false doctrine, false teachers, and warned the people that “in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,” (I Tim. 4:1).
He was not called to take a political stand or get embroiled in arenas that others had been called to. He was called to “preach Christ”, (Phil. 1:16), not from envy or out of selfish ambition, as some who had and still do, but out of sincerity and love. He did not take lightly his “appointment to defend the gospel”, even though there were those who taught it in “pretense”.
His fight was clearly defined; to defend the truth and to rejoice in the midst of the fight, (Phil. 1:18). To know the truth and love it enough to defend it is the call of every true believer. To stay joyful in the midst of the conflict is to know who has won. Sadly enough, the battle has suffered severe casualties among those who take their faith casually. The survival rate among closet and carnal Christians is low and many have already been swept away in lesser disputes. Still others have lost the faith altogether, and left the truth to take shelter in the temporary shelters of earthly escapes and virtual reality so “generously” provided by the Evil One.
The fight is so insidious that many are not even aware of the eternal battle being fought every moment in the heavenlies. They have been so deceived by reality that they have willingly and unwittingly substituted it for the truth simple based on the argument that their experiences really did happen and thus qualified to stand in the place of truth in their life. Forgetting, or not understanding what Jesus Himself said, or what He meant by His caution, “If therefore, the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”, (Mt.6:23), they go on unaware of the power of look-alike truth that has been given the power and operating privileges of TRUTH in their lives.
Two verses to consider this day:
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given to the ministry of reconciliation, …therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” (II Cor. 18 & 20).
Lord God, have mercy on us and “deliver us from the Evil one”, (Matt. 6:13).