I hope it is no surprise to learn you are involved in an ongoing kingdom conflict as a child of God. Your were born into it naturally and spiritually. Physically you were born into a world of sin and with sin. Physically you were born into the battle between good and evil which is constantly going on around us. The Kingdom of God in conflict with the powers of darkness in high places. When you were born-again the conflict did not end…you just changed sides! You went from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.
As I write I hope you can understand this in the proper context. One of the reasons the devil hates the children of God is because they are “defectors” from his camp. We are the proverbial “Benedict Arnold’s” who betrayed him and exposed him for what he is, evil. He could no longer deceive us and we broke ranks and returned to our Creator and the lover of our souls. As Jesus said, the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly. The enemy will be relentless in his hatred of you. Jesus on the other hand said He will be relentless in His ability to give us MORE than enough to overcome AND have an abundance of life from Him to enjoy.
But it is always a fight.
In pondering this, I looked up the word “fight” in the NASB95 and found it is used only six times in four verses. Five times in the pastoral epistles of 1 &2 Timothy and once in the book of James. To my surprise I found the Greek words used in each of verse have shades of different meaning which we need to understand!
1 Timothy 1:18 (NASB95)
18 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight,
Paul uses two different forms of a Greek word for “fight”. The first “fight” carries the idea of strategic planning for battle. The second “fight” carries the idea of military service which includes the hardships of executing the strategy. What does this tell us? We are not to go through life at the mercy of the enemy. We are not to ignore the battle which is going on just behind the scenes in the spiritual world around us. Instead, as Paul said in Ephesians 6, we are to put on the full armor of God so that we may stand against the schemes of the enemy. In effect, we should be one step ahead of the enemy at all times, not one step behind. We are to always be facing him, never letting him get behind us. Remember, there is no armor for the backside! First, because God has got our backs! Second, because we are never to turn and retreat. Rather we strategize for warring against the devil and we must be willing to suffer the hardships of the battle when necessary.
1 Timothy 6:12 (NASB95)
12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Here Paul uses an entirely different word from those used in 1 Tim. 1:18. And again, he uses two different forms of the word translated “fight”. The first word carries the idea of a struggle. You are going to be in a real struggle or wrestling match with an adversary. The second word for fight carries with it the idea of where the fight will be. In context it means the fight will be in the realm of faith. And, Paul calls it a good or “worthy” fight of faith.The battle is always in the realm of faith. The devil comes against us with lying circumstances and we must be determined to believe what God said, not what the circumstances seem to demand that we accept. Apply this principle to what God says about your marriage, your children, your needs, your ministry, or any other promise God has given you, but now you find yourself in a battle. Will you believe the circumstances or the Word God has given you? Paul says its a worthy battle to fight!
2 Timothy 4:7 (NASB95)
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;
Here Paul uses the same word as in 1 Tim. 6:12. He declares I have struggled and I have finished. Not one battle defeated my faith. These are powerful words when we consider all that the great apostle went through both in the world, with the Jews, and in the church. The key is to understand, though at times he was beaten down, he was never crushed. His faith anchored him and in the further context, he would receive a reward from God for His faithfulness. So will you and I if we “keep” the faith no matter the circumstance we find ourselves in.
James 4:2 (NASB95)
2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.
Here James uses an entirely different Greek word than Paul. The word carries with it the idea of “fighting” in the flesh where as Paul’s words carry with them the idea of fighting in the spiritual according to the context. James’ word speaks of a quarrel or dispute among people. It always gets “ugly” when we begin to fight in the flesh. Flesh just breads more flesh. When these things manifest, it is an indiction we are NOT functioning in the spirit. We all have much to learn in this don’t we?
When I put all these words and passages together, it is evident there are two “battle fields”. One is in the flesh and the other is in the spirit. Both use different tactics. Both have different outcomes. Never stoop to the devil’s playing field of the flesh! Neither should you ever walk away from a good fight of faith. Believe God. Stand upon, declare, and confess God’s truth. Pray. Leave the results in the Lord’s hands.
…And by the way, you never lose where the battle really counts, your faith in the God who works all things together for your good and His purpose for your life!