The Lord has asked founder Lisa Burkhardt Worley to be still and sit at his feet for a while (Psalm 46:10). So because of this, Pearls of Promise will be re-running some of its most popular devotions from the Pearls archives. Today’s devotion was last published on April 6, 2013.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Last night in The Bible mini-series, these were Paul’s last words before being carried off to be executed. Paul’s life had been a battle: he suffered imprisonments, beatings and had been pummeled with stones. He had been shipwrecked and had endured hunger and extreme cold. Paul stepped into the ring many days to engage in the boxing match called life.
What kind of battle are you in now?
Years ago, I was struggling with a difficult move to the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. My husband had been working in Dallas four days per week for about four years while I remained back with the kids in San Antonio. It had been challenging to be apart so much but at long last, my husband’s work moved us to North Texas and the family was together again. In our new home, I imagined a blissful marriage, neighbors waiting at my door to welcome me to the neighborhood and a smooth transition to a new church, but it didn’t happen like I envisioned. I was attending seminary at the time and there were many days where I was so battle weary I could barely put one foot in front of the other to walk to class.
One day as I was taking my car into the shop, I heard the words, “Fight the good fight.” I knew that verse from 1 Timothy but was this really the Lord speaking to me? It did come out of left field, which is what usually happens when I receive a God message.
Ironically, I had picked up a little Beth Moore pocket book to read the day before receiving this word from God. The pamphlet happened to be on the subject of spiritual warfare. It’s called Arm Yourself Against the Enemy’s Schemes. The book had been sitting on my desk for at least a half-year but for some reason I decided to read it while my car was being looked at by the mechanic. I thought, “This is interesting in light of what could have been a message from God.”
The next morning, God confirmed the message. There was no longer any doubt. My husband and I do a devotional together in the morning and we happened to be on 1 Timothy 1, verses 18-20. I began to read the words and could hardly get through them, They read: I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, having faith and a good conscience. There it was. I knew there was no coincidence. What were the odds of this happening? I then told my husband what had occurred and he too believed this was God’s confirmation.
You see, I had been very discouraged the day before I received this call to listen. I had been praying fervently for my situation to change and had still not seen total resolution. I was battle weary and God knew I needed encouragement from him.
What does it mean to fight the good fight? I’ll quote the words I read that day in my Holman New Testament Commentary:
“The good fight is the struggle which all Christians engage in when their efforts are focused toward honoring Christ and accepting responsibility for personal holiness. It is about keeping the faith individually as well as in the church. This is a militaristic term that admits to a hostile environment: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
God was telling me that life here on earth is a daily spiritual battle and that I needed to not give up. It was important to stay on my knees fighting for truth and holiness in myself and others. I was not to allow the enemy to win.
Our Father in heaven knows that life is not perfect. Jesus says in John 16:33 says, In this world you will have trouble but he gives us good news, Take heart! I have overcome the world.
A good boxing match will go the full twelve rounds before the final bell rings. God wants us to know he’s in the ring with us and his son Jesus Christ, has already taken the knockout punch for us. Our job is to stay in the ring and fight the good fight, then we have victory.
Categories: Archived Devotions