Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12
As I continually battle Depression and its ugly cousin complacency, I diligently search the scriptures for directions on how to overcome and triumph in this faith walk. 1 Timothy 6:12 clearly instructs God’s children, his dearly loved ones to fight. What does this mean and how can I employ such a mindset over my life to accomplish all that God called me to accomplish in Him? Fighting the good fight requires a winner’s attitude, approaching challenges with the power and authority of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Most of the time, our battles do not come when we are well rested, clear headed, and emotionally stable. Satan attacks us the most when we are weary, downtrodden, confused, frustrated, sleepy, and hungry. This means that we should be on guard and alert even in those states of physical, emotional, and mental fatigue. The truth of the matter is, that many of us battle Depression, Anxiety and a host of other illnesses so much so that we wake up off our game. This truth implies the prerequisite of a well-armed believer. I have never been to a shooting range; however, I have been in target practice for years. When we load up on the Word of God with memorization, understanding, and application we are properly prepared to fight the good fight.
The more time we spend in the Word of God the better equipped we are to not just fight but to win. Why do you think the enemy wants us to stay home from church, stop reading our bibles, and become so emotionally distraught that we keep our mouths from speaking the Word of Truth? It is wise to sit down with God’s word, index cards, highlighters, and study what God says. I am often surprised by how prophetic the Word of God is. There is nothing that we will encounter in our lifetime fight that God does not address directly or indirectly in His Word. Is your flesh calling you to seek satisfaction from the things of this world? Proverbs 27:20 clearly informs us of the futility of trying to gratify our flesh.
“Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.” Proverbs 27:20
Speaking of our flesh, when we daily subdue our carnal desires and live to please God’s Spirit within us, we are more likely to come out as the victor, not the victim. Galatians 5:4 reads, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.” Many of us will attend services, even crack open our bibles every now and then but have absolutely no intent in stopping what feels good to our carnal man to glorify God in our bodies. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I struggle with vaping. I once rationalized that it was better than drugs and cigarettes. Today, rather than rationalize, I repent and turn from the sin. As I ask God for strength to triumph over this overwhelming urge to vape, I developed a strategy to seek the power of God in all my efforts. I wrote a scripture on an index card and wrapped the card around my vaporizer. Before I can vape, I must quote that verse. Because the word of the Lord is alive and powerful, I can gradually feel the change happening. Somethings I laid down the day I decided to commit my life to Christ others I must war for. I am learning that war does not always require me to do something, sometimes I war by hiding behind Jesus while He fights something for me. I am powerless to change myself, but when I draw from Gods power I become a new creature (2 Corinthians 4:17).
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12
Additionally, I am learning to love myself too much to not care for myself. This is more difficult than killing my flesh. As a nurturer, helper, and natural caregiver, I often spread the love to everyone but yours truly. With the help of the Lord, I am growing to understand that a burned-out believer is an easily defeated believer. To combat this natural inclination to do everything for everyone and nothing for me. I am going to take another stab at the gym. I’ve tried to start and have stopped so many times, I am almost ashamed to put on my gym clothes, but that is not God calling me to give up because of too many failed attempts, it is the adversary. Often I wait until I feel up to it, or conditions are perfect before I venture into the uncharted waters of Self-Care, yet this time I will consider the spiritual ramifications of my neglectful behavior towards myself. In 2 Timothy 4:7 we are admonished to stay the course in our faith walk by finishing the race and remaining faithful.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” 2 Timothy 4:7
As I apply this powerful statement to my life, it invites me, gently, to GET UP! Most of the time I am counting myself out before I even try. I can honestly say that there is nothing that I have given my all too in the name Jesus that I have not succeeded in. What makes exercising and caring for myself any different? It is not different. The same way I fight the good fight of faith by building my arsenal with the Word of God, in a like manner I prepare my carnal man for warfare when I take care of me. I have absolutely no desire to do anything for me today besides sleeping and eating. How can we motivate ourselves when motivation escapes us? We become motivated when we do what the Word says not what our feelings say. Our feelings are slow to grab hold of the truth. For instance, we can hear God saying through His word that we are more than conquerors, and we can also earnestly believe this, but our feelings may still exude defeat. Hallelujah! I will do it until my feelings catch up to the benefits and progress that I have made. When I look back over my life, I do not feel accomplished because of how I felt during a challenge or fight; I feel accomplished based on what I achieved despite my feelings throughout the fight. Remember that we have the victory in Christ Jesus.
“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:37
The word despite means “regardless of, in lieu of, in the face of.” We already know that there are going to be oppositional factors such as feelings, doubt, shame, even lethargy, and pain, but even with these things, we are more than conquerors. Brothers and sisters the only way we can conquer is to fight!
Dad, I’m feeling that way when nothing seems attainable
With you alone, my goals and aspirations are reachable
Searching relentlessly, Father I know your able
To keep my feet failing, I lay it all on the table
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