Thursday, May 28, 2015

Being a warrior: our greatest joy

Compare the way that the Apostle Paul describes Christian life and the way that 99.9% of Christians really live, and there’s a huge gap. Paul loved the fight. Christians today… not so much. He was so consumed with fighting for the gospel and the Kingdom of God, that even in prison he transformed lives. He still does today, thousands of years after his death. He couldn't wait to be taken into heaven where life would take on a totally different dimension. If that meant letting his body be killed by Roman soldiers, that was fine by him. He would even debate in his mind, “What would be better, to stay on earth, or go to heaven?” He felt pulled in both directions, because all that mattered in this world was defending and honoring the Kingdom that he served.  

Who do you know that talks about how great it is to fight for God? Who do you know that can identify a demonic attack and then rushes against it in faith because he knows he has authority to do so? Who do you know that consistently sees answers to prayers, even though they may have to persevere under much opposition for some time? Do you live like that?  

This is God’s standard – put His armor on and fight. Fight against temptations, and fight for God to be visible in this world through your faith and answered prayer. As people see God at work in us, they can get a glimpse of heaven. We can bring them into His Kingdom to be saved for eternity – and then they begin the same process of fighting, overcoming, strengthening their faith and saving more and more souls.  

Jesus never gives us an option to just be good. There are many good atheists and good religious people of all beliefs. But there is only one name that every knee will bow before, and that is the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Your goodness can't make Satan relinquish his hold on your life or your family. Your goodness won't get you into heaven at all.  

A day is coming, sooner than any of us realize, when we'll be standing before Him to account for our lives. If we have an ounce of sense, we'll do anything to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into My Father’s rest.” Being a warrior for His Kingdom should be our greatest joy, it’s not an extra church activity tacked on to the busyness of jobs and families. It’s a way of life that permeates everything we do. Paul calls it a “good fight,” yet people read that and feel sorry for Paul as if he were miserable and worn out. He was more alive than probably anyone else we have ever known. The fight God calls us to is good, because as it defeats evil around us, it generates new life inside of us.       

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.  (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NASB)

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