By Bryan Kirby
Are We Fighting for Faithfulness?… Every day we have a choice to make. Every day we have to decide if we are going to take up our cross, or if we are going to put it down and follow the course of this world. When we are faced with these choices, both big and small, we need to be determined to make each one of them count for the Lord. Let’s look at some illustrations that we can draw from the preparation for a physical fight to the spiritual realm (like Paul in Ephesians 6).
First, if we know we are going to have to fight, we have to start training right away. A soldier preparing for combat undergoes a tremendous amount of rigorous training long before he enters the battle. He is taught which weapons are effective and how to use each one of them. Such should be the case with those of us who are entering a spiritual battle. We need to be trained in the proper use of the Word of God. We also need to develop an understanding of things like faith, love and hope as well as the effectiveness of fellowship and prayer to aid us in the battle we are going to face. If we enter the field of battle ill prepared, we will quickly become a casualty of war. Hebrews 5:14 implies that if we continue to exercise good judgment, our senses will become well trained to discern good from evil. Once a soldier has been trained and seen combat, he continues practicing what he has learned and seeks to improve his skills daily.
Next, we need to make certain that we protect our fellow soldiers during the fight. Soldiers learn to depend on one another during combat for many different reasons. Each soldier has a particular job to do and the rest of the troops count on that job to get done. Each soldier also has the responsibility to take care of the other soldiers on the battle field. The wounded need to be treated, not left alone to suffer and die!
The same holds true with the members of the body of Christ. We need each other if we expect to survive the spiritual war in which we are engaged. We all have our God given roles to fulfill and we must realize others are counting on us to get the job done! We also have to watch for each other and make certain that we are taking care of the wounded and helping them heal so that we can all get back out on the battle field. And of course, we must NOT engage in friendly fire! If we spend our time and energy tearing each other down, we have just done our enemy’s work for him! You should love your brother and sister in Christ, not shoot them!
Finally, we must all be determined that we are actually going to fight! Sometimes we pretend we are going to fight, but we really don’t. When was the last time you saw somebody taking extreme measures to combat sin in his or her life? Did that impress you or did you think it was just strange? Has anyone (including yourself) asked a brother or sister in Christ for help in avoiding or eliminating sin? We have become a people that deny the real need to fight against sin and avoid the extremes that it sometimes takes to get rid of sin. We must take sin seriously. We must begin to confess our sins, repent of them, and fight to remain faithful!
A soldier going on to the battle field doesn’t train for no reason, but so that he or she can win the fight. Train to remain faithful to the Lord and fight to remain faithful to the Lord. Train to win against sin and fight to win against sin.
- Bryan Kirby preaches for the Goodwood Boulevard church of Christ in Baton Rouge, LA. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www..goodwoodchurch.org