FIGHTING THE FIGHT OF FAITH
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, where unto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Tim 6:12 KJV). I have decided to write on this subject because a lot of the children of God are engaged in the wrong fight. Jesus Christ did not bring us into His kingdom to start fighting with the devil. He's already won the victory for us. What is the good fight of faith?
The real fight is not a fight with the devil or demons, it is the fight in your heart to overcome the challenges that face you in life. After salvation, you are going to be faced with thoughts and situations that show a picture different from what the word of God paints about you. But you must maintain your focus on Christ only. You don't look down, he that looks at the sun does not see shadows. The Bible says "...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" So, your fight of faith is the fight in your mind to hold unto the spiritual realities about who you are in Christ in spite of your flesh or temporal or earthly circumstance when you are faced with a challenge. The Bible admonishes us not to look at things which are seen because they are temporal but we should look at things which are not seen for they are eternal. Fighting the good fight of faith is the fight to stay stablished, confirmed, fixed, set on God's word. The Bible makes it clear that Believers have a very real enemy whose objective is to utterly destroy us. Our enemy, the devil, goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But guess what? He can’t devour every Believer. The devil walks around seeking “WHOM” he may devour because there are Christians whom he may not devour! They are Believers who are submitted to, and who trust in, God’s grace. Those being devoured are those trying to conduct spiritual warfare in their own strength. The enemy uses specific strategies to derail Christians. One of these strategies is to get Christians to try to gain right-standing with God through their own efforts. In spiritual warfare, we are not fighting the Devil directly as many think. We fight the fight of faith, by yielding to God’s strength, power, might, and ability—God’s grace. The devil has no defense against a Believer who trusts in God’s grace. Jesus has already secured victory for you. He opened up the door and gave you access to God’s great grace (John 1:17). This makes you armed and extremely dangerous to the kingdom of darkness! You no longer fight the devil for victory; you fight the faith of faith from a place of victory! Many sincere believers say 1 Tim 6:12 is a clear instruction by Paul that we do indeed fight the devil and his demons. 1 Timothy 6:12 is not in the context of spiritual warfare but simply fighting the fight of faith – it is an encouragement for Timothy to go deeper into the faith of God abstaining from evil and walking in the goodness and righteousness of God. If your spiritual warfare has you breaking a sweat you are fighting the wrong enemy with the wrong weapons. The truth is that while the devil is certainly still fighting away on this Earth, he needs mankind to empower him because he has been stripped of all power. Because of that, the highest level of spiritual warfare we need to engage in as believers, is to remind the devil that he has lost. The 'strongholds' mentioned in 2 Cor. 10:3-5, are not demons but rather thoughts, concepts, philosophies, superstitions, political beliefs, customs, etc., that go against the Word of God. They can only be brought down by the preaching of the truth in all its fullness. The strongholds exist in your thought life. The devil’s only access to your life are the areas that you empower him by disagreeing with God. The only power that the enemy has is the power that we end up giving him as we re-empower a disempowered enemy with our thoughts and beliefs, traditions etc etc.. The Apostle Paul emphasized "fighting the good fight of faith." when he said in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, " 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" Firstly it says "the weapons of our warfare"; acknowledging that there is indeed warfare, and we are involved in it! Our warfare ("FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH.") isn't a fight with the devil. The devil isn’t a factor because we know he is a defeated foe. Jesus completely paralyzed him and made a public spectacle of him and his cohorts in the realm of the spirit (Colossians 2:15). Secondly, it describes these weapons, stating that they are mighty through God to the pulling down of "strongholds." Strongholds are NOT the devil or demons. They are ideas, thoughts, principles and theories of this world that contradict the Word. Such ideas and theories create negative mind-sets in people and hold them in bondage. These strongholds are destroyed through the knowledge of the Word of God. When the devil tries to plant imaginations of fear, failure, sickness, or the very worst that could happen in your mind, use the word against them, and they’ll crash at your feet. Next, it says "casting down imaginations." Sometimes people have imaginations that are against the Word of God; they are haunted by terrible imaginations of fear, defeat, and failure. With the Word of God, we are able to tear down and demolish such evil imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God! Stand your ground on the Word always.
There is something I want to get across concerning the authority of the believer, you have to recognize that Satan has zero power and authority over you. He is a defeated foe. His only power against you is to come against you with lies and deception. If your life is being destroyed, you can say “Satan is the one who is firing these shots at me,” but you are the one who is giving him the ammunition.
You’re the one who has to respond to his lies and deception. If you didn’t yield to Satan, he would have no inroads or power against you Christians have been led to believe we are fighting a being whose power is superior to ours, and we are just barely able to cope with him. That’s not what the Scripture teaches at all. It does say in 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.”
Satan does exist. He has a hierarchy of principalities and powers that we’re dealing with, but in the verse just prior to that, it says that we have to STAND against the "wiles" of the devil. In actual fact, the bible mentions the word "STAND" about four times from Eph 6:10 to Eph 6:18. The only power satan really has against us is the power of deception. He doesn’t have power to overcome us as long as we are STANDING in Christ and His finished work of the cross.
In Genesis 3 we see that when the first temptation came against Adam and Eve, Satan didn’t come with some superior force. For instance, instead of inhabiting a mammoth or an elephant, putting his foot on Adam’s head, threatening them, and saying “Serve me or else,” he inhabited a snake, the most subtle creature God made.
The word “subtle” means “sly, deceptive, or cunning.” The reason Satan came through the snake was because he really didn’t have the power to force Adam and Eve to do anything. He could only deceive. He came against the nature and character of God and began to criticize Him, saying, “God doesn’t really love you—He’s holding things back from you.” Satan used deception to tempt Adam and Eve to sin against God.
Scripture says that Satan is the god of this world, but it’s not because God made him the god of this world. God never put Satan in a position above mankind. He gave mankind dominion and authority over this earth. The only reason Satan has ever been able to oppress, dominate, or cause the problems he does is because people yield their God-given authority to him.
There’s a unique difference in the authority God has given to us as believers. It is joint authority between us and the Lord Jesus Christ. Today our authority is shared with the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s like having a joint bank account that requires both signatures in order to cash a check. Our authority is shared with the Lord Jesus, and His authority is shared with the church. Although we may fail, God is never going to sign this authority over to the devil.