There have been many times in my life when I have felt a strong tap on the shoulder from God saying, “Lisa, I have something very important to say to you.” The times this has happened to me, God has given me messages like, “You need to go to seminary'” or “I want you to quit your job (after almost 25 years working full-time).” One time, I received one with a year, 2044, and the message was “There’s still more to do. The year is 2044.” I don’t know what that year means but what I got from that is that God had work for me to do for the kingdom and that I most likely have a finite number of years to get it done.
So, when I received that call to listen again, I took the time to listen. I had to take my car into the shop the next day so I turned the radio off and was silent. The only thing I heard during that car ride were 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.
Ironically, I had picked up a little Beth Moore pocket book to read that day before receiving this message, which 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 a year but for some reason that was the day I decided to read it while I was waiting on my car to be looked at by the mechanic. I thought, “This is interesting in light of what could have been a message from God.” I told my prayer partner later that day about the message, still not totally sure but we prayed that God would confirm.
The next morning, God did just that. 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 and praying for a situation and had still not seen total resolution. I was battle weary and God knew I needed these words.
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. Paul himself said at the end of his own life, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 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. That I was to stay on my knees fighting for truth and holiness in myself and others. I thought about what I read in Beth Moore’s book and she talked about people she knew who gave up the fight in their spiritual lives and let the enemy win. I didn’t want that to happen to me. If I didn’t fight the good fight, who would do it for me?
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.” And if we realize this and claim the power in these words, we will be able to fight the good fight.