Still in the Fight

joe louis“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…” 1 Timothy 6:12

“Do you not know that in a race, all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

It’s interesting how the Bible alludes to sports in reference to walking with God.  Any professional athlete will tell you that preparing for the match, marathon or game takes hours of training, and if you want to win, you have to outdo all the other competitors who have spent equal or more hours than you have in preparation for that moment.

Do athletes compete in privacy? Do runners run so that they can stop just before they reach the finish line?  Of course not!  They’re in it to win it, and they want to win in the presence of thousands of witnesses in the stadium and millions on TV.

In some sports like boxing, your stamina and endurance are especially crucial. If you have fallen to the floor and you don’t get back up before the count is over, your opponent wins.

When you profess your faith in Christ publicly, people are watching you.  They may watch for different reasons – some wait to watch you fall, others watch so they can point fingers and criticize you from their high horse, and others may see your example and try to find an excuse to not go to church because of “hypocrites like you.”

But you see, my friend, you don’t proclaim Christ so you can live outwardly to “show others what a good Christian you are.”  As soon as you proclaim Jesus not only to be your Savior but also your Lord – Lord over your decisions, your emotions, behavior, goals and ambition – Satan is watching you. People should not be your concern; Satan is your true enemy who will do everything in his power to take you down.

“Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  1 Peter 5:8

The battle we wage as Christians is a spiritual battle.  The forces we are fighting against are unseen by the naked eye:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have the divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (emphasis added)

The next time you feel defeated by circumstances, difficult people, or your own negative self-talk, remember that you are the fighter in this boxing match between you and Satan.  Don’t give up!  The Christian race is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.  It’s not swimming; it’s a boxing match!  And when you reach the end of your life, may you be able to say these words:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

#perseverance #endurance #fighter #winner #GoodFightoftheFaith #musingz4life #InItToWinIt #FinishTheRace

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