Fight, Finish Strong and Keep your Faith [pt1] By Pastor Shari Stephens 0

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  II Timothy 4:7

With this simple statement Paul was summarizing his life’s journey with Christ. Yet for those of us still living, it’s a wonderful guide for our daily lives.  Three words stick out and are the elements for a successful life in Christ. They are fight, finish and keep.  Let’s look at them.

The word fight means,

“Take part in a violent struggle involving the exchange of physical blows or the use of weapons. engage in (a war or battle). Endeavor vigorously to win.  Move forward with difficulty, especially by pushing through a crowd or overcoming physical obstacles.”

Paul said he fought, he struggled, he engaged, he was vigorous, he moved forward, through difficulty, aggressively engaging all difficulties in his path.  He overcame!  This is not the passively, peaceful, meek lifestyle we tend to think of when we say we’re “Christian.”  It was an active, engaging life!

Jesus said in Matthew 11:12,

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”

Again Ephesians 6:12 says,

“For 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.

This Christian life is one of constant overcoming, constantly being forced to be a warrior. A warrior in spirit and in heart.  Every day you must put your war paint on and go to battle.  As the scripture says, you’re not wresting against flesh and blood, so there is place for a meek spirit and peaceful attitude with people. But there should always be a warrior in you, ready, dressed in armor, to do battle against all the struggles you will face.

In Genesis 32:22-32, we are told of the story of Jacob who wrestled with God all night.  Verse 28 says,

“Then the man said, ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.’”

Jacob had met his test and had overcome.

Think of all the “overcome” verses in the first few chapters of the Book of Revelation.  Jesus says, “To him that overcomes will I get the right to eat from the Tree of Life (Rev. 2:7), to him who overcomes will I give a new name (Rev. 2:17)” and so on.  Christ expects His bride to be victorious. To have a victorious life means you have been in countless struggles, throughout your life, and that you overcame them!

Remember the adage, “choose your battles wisely?”  There are countless issues, concerns and people that will be a reason for you to battle, but Paul identified his cause as the “good fight.”  This is the fight for life, for your faith, for your peace, your joy, your loved ones, your purpose.  The cause of Christ and the advancement of the Kingdom of God is what you fight for.

There is a victor in you waiting to overcome everything, every day.  Make sure your mindset is ready and prepared for the fight.

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