Fight the Good Fight

I was once asked "How do I surrender something that I don't know I'm holding on to?" The issue was victory, why they didn't have it and how they could get it. I initially empathized with their struggle, until I realized two lines of faulty thinking.

1) Victory should be according to my definition. Victory in the life of a believer is defined and directed by God. I think it's a lack of trials, God's definition is that it's my growth into Christ likeness because of the trials. I think it's when I'm ready for it, God knows every thing that needs to be accomplished to bring me to the end of my own understanding and trust in Him.

2)Victory feels like victory. We think we have attained victory when we feel strong, when we feel like winners, when we feel like we think a good Christian feels. It should be effortless, a mighty work of God and I should feel like it happened. But while it sounds like a plaque on the wall, faith is not feelings.

John MacArthur had something to say about our part in the victory:

"Many Christians believe that spiritual victory comes simply by surrendering more completely to God. They quote verses like 2 Chronicles 20:15 to support their view: "The battle is not yours but God's." "Stop struggling and striving," they say. "Instead, yield and completely surrender yourself to God. He alone does the fighting and gives the victory."

Such people are often called "Quietists" because they view the Christian's role in spiritual warfare as passive or quiet. Their anthem is "Let go and let God."

But Scripture gives a very different view of the believer's role. It pictures the Christian life as a war, a race, and a fight. We depend on God's energy, power, and strength, but are by no means passive. We're commanded to apply ourselves to good deeds, resist the devil, bring our bodies under subjection, walk in wisdom, press toward the prize, cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, work out our salvation with fear and trembling, and perfect holiness in the fear of God. Those are calls to fervent action.

In Ephesians 6:10-11 Paul says, "Be strong in the . . . strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God." That's the balance. God supplies the resources; we supply the effort."


Popular posts from this blog

The Red Line

Who Are You Listening To?

On Eating and Sleeping