Good morning, DearHeart.
Last night I panicked. My man left to feed cattle at a place about 5 miles from home. The others had already been fed, so I knew it would be a short trip. Two hours later I called to make sure he was alright, and his phone rang from the table by his chair about 10 feet from me! It was about 30 minutes before dark and the country roads are still muddy from the snow. If something was wrong I knew I needed to get to him before dark so I took off to get to him – because in panic mode every farm accident of the ages flashes through my mind. And, it is not like him to leave his phone. To make a long story short, he was fine, just went by the other places to make a final cattle check for the evening. Later, when we talked through the timing when I left the house he was probably here at our home place across the creek. Just roll your eyes with me and we will be on the same page.
My fear overtook my faith for a while.
It seems I have this mistaken notion that life should be easy. Somewhere along the line I began believing this journey with God should be easy as long as one is believing.
Perhaps this is one of the biggest lies the enemy feeds us, unless it is just me, in order to discourage us. It is the lie He revealed and shattered as I read these words:
“Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you confessed so well before witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12, NLT)
That word, ‘fight’, means: “to fight in a contest; to engage in a dreadful battle or strenuous endeavor. It envisions combatants pitted against one another for victory. It is a heroic struggle.” (taken from the New Testament Lexical Aids)
Perhaps this is the issue. Maybe we are not feeling much like “heroes”.
As I read this verse a few days ago – and in several different versions – I noticed the fight is with faith. In that verse, there is nothing which indicates the fight takes place only with people or situations.
This became a lightbulb moment to me last night…but, my eyes became open, wide opened, that perhaps we are NEVER more heroic than when we are battling for our faith.
Can it be that the struggles with circumstances and people which challenge us are pieces of a greater battle than first meets our eyes?
Perhaps the greatest battles we ever will face in our lives concern our faith.
Perhaps it is when we are tempted to think that God’s Word works for everyone else but us.
Or maybe … it is the battle to believe He will keep His promises to us. It may even be the battle to believe He won’t let us down.
The New Testament Lexical Aids go on to explain, “To ‘take hold of the eternal life which you were called’ would then be analogous to fulfilling one’s commission.” This fight of faith and taking hold is all a part of each one of us fulfilling our purposes here. Hmmm. The fight is bigger than we even imagined. John Piper puts it this way:
“It is a lifelong battle against unbelief.”
No matter – it comes down to this…
We must fight the good fight for the truth faith. Keep it in perspective, know who the real enemy is, and fight from that proper angle.
Re-examine your faith.
Fluff it out. Use it.