The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Good Fight"
"Somebody is trying to discourage me!"
It could be said that three races of beings exist. First, the Divine race of God, consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then, the human race to which we belong. And finally, the angelic race, composed of spiritual beings that include both devoted ministers of God, and also fallen angels who joined Lucifer in his rebellion.
The third race refers to the opening statement above. We do well to remember that we live our lives not only with God, people, and faithful angels said to be "ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1:14). Satan and his minions also exist in the present realm wherein they ever seek to cast us down. They likely know better than we do the monumental nature and extent of the salvation God gives to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Moreover, they can do nothing to steal our relationship with God and His mighty presence within our hearts and our lives. They can, however, tempt us to discouragement by distraction and deception, as allowed by God (Job, of course, being a prime example of such devilish attacks). Thus, when we feel cast down and tempted to focus on ourselves and how we feel, we do well to realize we presently live not only in the presence of God, people, and faithful angels, but also with devilish foes who ever seek to divert us from God and His empowering and encouraging truth.
Somebody is trying to discourage us! This should get our spiritual dander up! Far more, it should call us to engage and "fight the good fight of faith" (I Timothy 6:12). We do this not by directly confronting our enemies, but rather by humbly and confidently seeking our Heavenly Father. As James taught, we "resist the devil" by submitting ourselves to God (James 4:7). We remember who our Lord is, what He has done, is doing, and will forever do for us. We also realize that unseen, malevolent beings seek to do us harm in the only way they can, by distracting us from "so great salvation" and so great a Savior (Hebrews 2:3). Such awareness should lead us to refuse to be cast down, and to arise as "a good soldier of Jesus Christ" to do battle through Him (II Timothy 2:3).
Yes, we must fight the good fight. "By God's abounding grace, I am not going to let my Lord's enemies succeed! I will gird on the sword of His Word, trust in the power of His Spirit, and arise in the realization that a defeated foe seeks to discourage me." Again, this motivates a different sensibility and reaction than we often initially experience in times of challenge. Indeed, it is one thing to think, "Why do I feel down and discouraged?" It is quite another to consider, "Enemies who hate my Lord and who hate me seek to divert my focus to myself and how I feel. I must fight the good fight and not allow them to succeed!" Thus, we look to "the Captain of our salvation," and thus, we overcome by realizing the nature of the conflict in which we must presently do battle through Him (Hebrews 2:10). Yes, somebody ever seeks to discourage us. They can only do so if we fail to recognize their attack, and if we fail to stand with and by our Captain. Let us arise, therefore, and fight the good fight, the good fight of faith!
"Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O most mighty, with Thy glory and Thy majesty."
"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
"This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
(I John 5:4)
Weekly Memory Verse
To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.