Spiritual warfare is a reality! If you are not in the ring with your “dukes up,” that Devil is going to clock you so hard that you will wake up the middle of next week as an unbeliever. Just because you don’t see demonic possession, familiar spirits, and or voodoo doctors on your street corner don’t you think that means there is no danger in your modern world.
The truth is, the Devil does not need to spook you with horror movie theatrics or creepy things that “go bump in the night,” because modern mankind, “loves darkness instead of the light that came into our world because our deeds are full of evil.”[i]
When your world is already full of evilness on all sides, that Serpent of old, that slithery Snake, does not need to slip into your spiritual life through Witch Doctors, Ouija Boards, or any of that Beetlejuice type stuff.[ii] He already has full-time access through your own darkened mind and heart.[iii] We see the world through darkened eyesight of fallen beings. Instead of acknowledging all the protection, guardian angels, grace, and last minute saves God provides us with, we only see struggles, trials, hurts, and suffering. We focus on the losses and rarely, if ever, even remember the wins.
Are you getting knocked around by life? Maybe you are getting straight up clobbered, kicked in the rear, and knocked down? That is part of the being in the ring. And I guess if you get brutalized and pummeled enough, things go dark on you. That is normally exactly what happens. If you are not careful when you get all “dazed and confused,” your world starts spinning and it gets dark, really dark. That means only one thing, you’re about to go down for the count!
When I was growing up the prevailing advice about a good fight was you knocked the other person out before they knocked you out. You did whatever it took to knock the other side down. After all, if you let them get the jump on you, you might not ever get a chance to fight back! You had to fight fire with fire. If they were dirty, you were dirtier. If they were mean, you were meaner. If they fought to win, you won before they had the chance. Like the old 80’s trash-talk phrase went, “There will be only two hits, me hitting you, and you hitting the ground!” It was eat or be eaten, right?
The Apostle Paul, however, has a whole different approach to that good fight in the ring of life. As believers, we need to consider it this sage idea.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Do I still fight with the weapons of this world?
Seriously, you can’t win God’s fight using the Devil’s weapons. It is called the good fight for a reason. Christians fight with honor, a higher calling, integrity, and always, only with Godly methods. Those who fight fire with fire, likely are practicing to be children of hellfire.
If we fight greed, we overcome it with giving. If we fight oppression we overthrow it setting captives free. If we fight lust we rise above it by glaring into the beauty of Jesus. If we fight gluttony, we fight it by eating more of the Bread of Life. If we fight covetousness we conquer it by giving all that we have to Jesus!
The Apostle Paul gave direct instruction to his young protégé, Timothy, on exactly how he expected Timothy to fight his battles. His words to Timothy come to us all as a charge into the battle we all must fight daily.
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6: 12
In others words, you can’t be in that ring fighting “The Good Fight” if by God’s mercy and grace you are not being good! It only makes sense, God’s war in your life against Satan, will not be won with unholy hands!
Stop, look down at your hands? Are they bathed in the Baptism of Jesus? Or are they set afire with the fury of hell? Just stop, pause, allow the Holy Spirit to soothe you, collect you, and assess you. Is your motivation hate or righteousness? Ask God to show you; because the battle belongs to the Lord.[iv] I have news for you. If you are fighting the Lord’s fight with Satan’s sword in your hands, you not only have already lost, but you have switched sides in the fray, and you are swinging that blade against the Kingdom of God! Stop swinging your weapons at the cause of Christ!
Listen to Paul: “Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.” You battle death and darkness with light and life! You kick hell to the curb by empowering this world with the Kingdom that is coming! You send the devil his eviction notice by letting God’s will be done on Earth, in you, as it is also done in Heaven by Him.[v] You kill darkness, by shining light!
You win the fight, by getting self out the ring and tag Jesus in for the knockout!
Paul gives Timothy, a list of weapons he is permitted to bring into the fight, and they are all weapons that Jesus works through for the final knock down!
“But you, man of God, flee from all this (the devils’ ways), and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith!” 1 Timothy 6: 11-12a
How does Jesus fight through the sanctified you in the ring?
Only through sanctified means; Righteousness, Godliness, Faith, Love, Endurance, and Gentleness.
Let’s kick Satan to the curb. Let’s beat back the hounds of hell. Let’s serve that Snake his final eviction notice from our lives. Let’s smash down those gates of Hell[vi] Let’s fight that good fight!
And oh, let’s, above all things, fight the good fight with goodness, because that is what makes it a good fight and not a dirty fight. In the action of casting out demons let us not call on the power of Beelzebub. Fighting fire with fire, only gets you burned by hell’s fire in that final destruction that Jesus reserved for the devil and his Angels.[vii]
Fight evil with Goodness. Because it is a good and worthy fight! And it is the very goodness of God that comes into the heart and mind of the believers[viii], empowering them with new weapons to defeat old foes. The goodness of the good fight is Jesus in you, fighting in your ring, which is your heart, mind, and soul swinging for the victory. I say, tag in Jesus, it’s time for the knockout!
This blog was inspired in part by the lyrics of a song my good buddy Darrell Ellis wrote.
It’s Time To Tag In Jesus
Darrel Ellis, IT guy by day, Superhero by night! 😉 Seriously, the biggest Superman fan I know!
“When burdens and temptations turn your whole world upside down
And no matter where you look, it seems that a true friend can’t be found
Well, life is like a wrestling match and your precious soul’s the cost
Its time to tag in Jesus before the main event is lost
The title belt’s a mansion that’s waiting up on high
And Satan knows he can’t win if you just refuse his lies
There’s a Saviour in your corner and he’s waiting for your call
Its time to tag in Jesus and watch the devil fall
Your referee’s the Father, and your partner’s Christ the Son
The day he cried “Its Finished” was the day this match was won
He’s the champion of champions, the undisputed king of kings
Its time to tag in Jesus and let Him do His thing
He’ll bodyslam ol’ Satan to the firey pits of hell
The devil won’t know what hit him when they ring the final bell
So when demons gather round you and it seems there’s no way out
Its time to tag in Jesus, He’ll score the big knock-out”
[ii] That is in no way an endorsement of the occult. Such things should be forsaken by all serious Christians. See Leviticus 20:6-27, Deuteronomy 18:10-11, Jeremiah 27:9, Leviticus 19:31, Isaiah 19:3, Acts 16:16-18.
[iii] The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9