Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Good Fight, The Good Race

UV 2236/10000 The Good Fight, The Good Race
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
2 Timothy 4 v 7

The good fight is a life committed to faith in Christ. The good fight is non- violent. Its weapons are prayer and the Word. The enemy is invisible and powerful but we can overcome Him with the power of prayer, the Word and the Spirit of God. The Spirit teaches us how to pray and use the Word effectively. Once we pray and commit a matter to the Lord, He fights on our behalf. While engaged in the good fight, we do not suffer physical wounds but we get spiritually and emotionally bruised. Our injuries are healed by the wounds of Christ. We do not have to shed any blood as the blood of Jesus is a sufficient sacrifice. In a normal fight, the fighter’s strength flags and fails over time. Mohammad Ali, the “black superman” was greatly weakened by Parkinson’ s disease in his later days. Spiritually and in terms of faith, we will not weaken but move from strength to strength.

The good fight is fought by us every day of our lives for the challenges are different every day. There is no respite but the Lord gives us inextinguishable and inexhaustible peace in the midst of our struggles. We do not get tired or give up as the Lord renews our strength every single day and as we face every challenge. The prophet Jonah was discouraged in his life’s struggles. The prophet Elijah was fearful, discouraged and exhausted in his fight against Jezebel but the Lord gave a double anointing to Elisha such that the latter never faced discouragement. We, too are given a double anointing-the anointing of the Father and of Jesus. We should not engage in shadow boxing or chasing shadows or threats and fears that are not real. Like good fighters, we need to keep ourselves fit and ready for the fight by constant training and discipline. To be a good fighter, one needs to build strength to give blows as well as to endure it. One needs courage and perseverance to take on the odds and to keep fighting till the very end. We may sometimes be brought to the floor by some blows but every time we need to rise up and continue the good fight. Every fight ends some time. So also the good fight.

Life in Christ is not only a good fight but a good race. It is a long distance race and not a hundred meter dash. Like an athlete running a course we should aim to run till the last foot and complete the race of life. We should replenish ourselves with energy and strength by dipping into the word from time to time even as runners in a long distance race keep feeding on glucose and drinking water along the way. We may trip and fall on the way but every time we should quickly get up, dust ourselves and move ahead with greater tempo. For the good race, what counts is speed and stamina. Our focus should be on the eternal crown that the Lord holds for us as a reward for a life of faith. Every race ends some time. We can look forward with hope and optimism to a good ending. Whether it is the good fight or the good race, we should finish well and be able to say like Jesus on the cross, “ It is finished.”

Prateep V Philip

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