Fighting – and winning – the good fight of faith.
[When trouble comes your way, will the mountain move your faith or will your faith move the mountain?]
[When we wage war against our spiritual opposition through believing God and doing what He says, when He says and how He says, we will always win the fight.]
The apostolic is not just a movement. It’s a lifestyle. Apostolic living means fighting the good fight of faith day in and day out as we co-labor with Christ to build His Church.
“Do I have to fight to be apostolic?” you may ask. Yes, because the apostolic concept of ministry is to invade and occupy. But Jesus assured us that the gates of hell would not prevail. That means we win. And when we win we get the spoils. The real question, then, becomes how to win the day-to-day battles. The short answer is submission, faith, fervent prayer and endurance.
Fighting to win demands submission to God and resisting the devil. James, the Apostle of Practical Faith, assures us that this will cause the devil to flee. Fighting can be as simple as walking by faith and not by sight. James also tells us that the effective fervent prayers of a righteous man make God’s power available. Faith-filled, passionate prayers have a militant sound full of confidence in the Lord as our Victory Banner.
Many have told me that they often feel a spiritual resistance when they pray. “What then?” you ask. Meet the resistance with even more fervency! That resistance will build strength in your inner man as you press in, contend, resist and fight. The Apostle Paul didn’t teach the flagship church at Ephesus principles of spiritual warfare for nothing. He knew how intense would be the wrestling match with principalities and powers. Apostolic people quickly learn that it takes a unified body of believers to influence a territory. So if you feel oppressed of the enemy, then run for cover. Enlist a fellow solider in God’s army to pray with you. One can put a thousand to flight, but two can put 10,000 to flight.
We cannot afford to ignore the spiritual opposition in our daily lives. We must be battle ready so that we do not grow weary in well doing, knowing that in due season we will reap if we faint not. Still, in the heat of the day-to-day battle we sometimes do begin to feel weary. Could that weariness be the result of a spiritual resistance to our faith? Weariness is most often experienced long after the first prayer was ever released. In fact, it is toward the end of standing in faith and just before the victory is won that the spiritual resistance is most intense. You get the spoils when you outlast the enemy.
Outlasting the enemy means fighting the good fight of faith. Apostolic believers, or any Christian for that matter, can’t do anything for God without facing spiritual opposition to faith. Look at Nehemiah, an apostolic man whom God gave a vision to do something great. When he stepped out in faith to carry out the vision he suffered persecution and opposition. But he didn’t give up. Day in and day out, he fought, believed, pressed through, endured – and successfully rebuilt the wall. Apostolic believers today must follow in the footsteps of Nehemiah if we are to build Jesus’ Church.
Oh so often apostolic believers get accused of being too fervent, too bold, too militant, too everything except lukewarm. The truth is that we are in a spiritual war and Satan is not going to give up the lost souls of the world without a fight. When we wage war against our spiritual opposition through believing God and doing what He says, when He says and how He says, we will always win the fight.
Paul told Timothy to endure as a good soldier and we would do well to take that same advice today. Be encouraged. Scripture declares that no weapon formed against you can prosper. Yes, there are times when we feel weary. There are times when we wish the mountain would disappear without any effort on our part. There are times when we may ask ourselves why we have to fight so hard to be apostolic. When that question arises in your heart, remember what Jesus told His disciples: “Speak to the mountain and it will move.”
When trouble comes your way, will the mountain move your faith or will your faith move the mountain? Yes, we have to fight the good fight of faith. Yes, there will be tribulation in the process. But Jesus, our Chief Apostle, exhorts us to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world. We, too, are victorious overcomers in Him.
(c) Jonas Clark
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