Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12 (KJV).
Fighting the right kind of fight! What does this mean? A good way to explain what our opening statement is all about is to do it using illustrations. For this purpose, we will look at two different scenarios, after which we can draw up our individual conclusions.
(i) Scenario One: A passerby comes upon two people fighting and decides to stand by to watch. However, because of the crowd, he is unable to see the people involved in the fight he pushes his way through the crowd until he gets to the center. At the center, he is shocked to find that one of the men in the fight is a close relative and he is the one getting the bad end of the deal.
In a blind rage, he jumps in to take sides with this relative and pounces on the opponent without even asking questions. He pounces on this man so fiercely and forcefully without any warning that the man loses his balance falls and hit his head on the ground and dies. At this point, the police arrive and apprehend both men in the fight, which would include the one who just committed the murder.
Now the catch here is that the man who was in the fight initially is now being identified by the Police as the notorious serial killer whose activities the law enforcement agents had been trying to uncover, but he kept eluding them. The dead man was a plain-clothed investigator of the law, who had been tracking the disguised nefarious criminal activities of the said criminal and had just witnessed a piece of concrete evidence to finally prosecute this criminal whom he caught physically molesting a woman in an obscure area.
The criminal ran off, and the law enforcement agent followed in hot pursuit. However, he was able to call for some backup before he caught up with the criminal. Since the criminal resisted arrest a fight ensued, people gathered and the third party (our major Protagonist) in the story came upon the scene.
The third person, our major Protagonist, who actually murdered the law enforcement agent, was a clean man, law-abiding, with no criminal records. Perhaps he just wanted to see what was happening or needed some kind of entertainment, but his initial intentions took another turn, he saw his very close relative whom he was very fond of being harassed.
He had no idea that this relative of his had a terrible criminal record, and on top of it had just committed a crime, neither did he know that the man whom he thought was in a fight with his relative was a law enforcement agent. Unfortunately for our protagonist, a law-abiding citizen— just murdered a man and was caught red-handed. In this situation, the law would have to take its full course.
The questions to ask at this point regarding the third person in the story are: Was the fight this man’s fight? Did he fight the right kind of fight?
(ii) Scenario two: This scenario is basically the same story as the first one, however, the major protagonist the third man on the scene who, in the first story got entangled in a vicious murder crime, has the final part of his story rewritten. In this scenario he comes through the crowd to the center, he sees the brawl and notices his close relative being forcefully apprehended, he tries to find out the reason for the fracas and runs back out to call for help from the Police. While trying to do this, the Police arrive on the scene. The question again: Did the protagonist fight the right kind of fight here and if yes, what did he do differently?
Two scenarios two different approaches. In life, most of us seem to be fighting the wrong kind of fight. A lot of the time, we are just ignorant, or just plain stupid or again we do things deliberately and justify our actions. For example, someone is asked, why they keep doing what they have been engaged in for over the years without any result to show for it, or perhaps just minimal, maybe flickers of results every once in 4-5 years. Likely answers to such a question would be:
(i). That is how we do it where I come from. We defend each other, whether we are in the right or the wrong, after that we can ask questions and find out why.
(ii). That is what we believe, we have to pray this way, do this set of rituals, and dress this way.
(iii). Others may just say, I don’t know, it makes me feel in charge or control or I am not just bothered.
Other good questions to ask these groups of people, in this case, would be: How have your actions, way of life, or behavior pattern benefited in the long term? Have you always received what your heart desires through this way of life, habit, and behavior? How frequently do you get answers based on these actions of yours? Responses would be: I don’t know/not very sure, I need to belong to a community, so I do what I do to get support if and when I need one, I receive an answer once in a while, it just keeps me going.
What one deduces from such responses or answers is a conglomerate of uncertainties and confusion. Hence, it should not be the kind of fight we should be fighting, it is not the right kind of fight. The kind of fight we must engage in should be a fight of certainty, and assurance, a fight based on factual truths that would always yield good, and beneficial results commensurate to the inputs or efforts we put in and should even go beyond our expectations, a fight that would produce accurate, precise answers or results that will never leave us in the dark. This is the kind of fight we should be fighting.
Now the ace question: What is this right kind of fight called and how can we engage ourselves to fight this fight? Our Bible verse for today reveals what this fight is all about. It is called ‘The Good Fight of Faith.’ It is ‘Good’ because it comes with everything that benefits and effectively goes beyond our expectations. This means that it meets all the criteria or examples of the kind of fight we should be engaged in mentioned in the paragraph just above this one.
So how can we fight this fight? The same Bible verse tells us to lay or take hold of–deeply consider and ponder on the eternal life we have been called to. Meaning we should dwell on, act upon, and live out the factuality of the truths we have been given, experienced, or are experiencing and have related with by the power of God in Christ Jesus. By doing so, we must show forth who God is, all He has done for us in Christ Jesus, the truths about His word and promises, His intimate relationship with us, and the miraculous works He has accomplished in us by the Holy Spirit. All of this should be what we must continually profess, confess, act upon, and show. This should be our testimony, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11 KJV)—HALLELUJAH!!
We must allow our good fight of faith to come as a direct product of our confession and profession through what God our Heavenly Father has accomplished for us in Christ Jesus written in His Word and demonstrated by His Holy Spirit. it is only by doing this that we can truly say that we are Fighting the right Kind of Fight.
Ebimobo W. Obasi
PLEASE PRAY ALONG:
A Prayer for Grace to Fight the Good Fight with Endurance.
FATHER GOD, You call me to faithful and obedient living. Thank You for providing Your Word as a guide that helps me bring You glory. When I struggle to live as You call me to, please help me to stand on all your truths to fight the good fight of faith and constantly remind me of the eternity of certainty and assurance you have given me. And as You do that, restore my strength and endurance. In JESUS MIGHTY NAME AMEN!