The Good Fight Of Faith!
By Jean Wilhelmsen
Are You Awake, Christian?
Millions of Christians are sleeping at this, the most crucial moment in history. Are you one of them? The Battle of the Ages has reached such a point of intense interest that even worldly men are sitting up to take notice. All of heaven is leaning over the battlements, breathlessly watching. If you don't wake up Christian, you'll miss the climax of the reason for all of living.
True, the battle is hotter than it has ever been before, but we are on the threshold of the most thrilling triumph of all time. The militant church of Christ has reached the place where the completion of her task is possible! That task is, "to preach the Gospel to every creature."
The great non-Christian religions of the world are arraying themselves in solid blocks, bracing themselves for the final thrust of Christianity. Never before has the church faced such organized opposition. This is the hour for action. Every Christian must enter the ranks now. It's no fun to sit on the sidelines anyway. So come along, Christian! Unsheathe your sword! You were born to fight!
You can't "fight the good fight of faith" (1 Tim. 6:12) and be hampered with "weights" (Heb. 12:1) of sin or the "entanglements" (2 Tim. 2:4) of this life. So count the cost before you leave the sidelines. It's a serious matter to draw the fire of the enemy and not be prepared for it. You must "put off the body of the sins of the flesh" (Col. 2:11).
The Cross must pierce your life deeply, laying bare all that you are before His all-seeing eye. Take time to know its crucifying power in every part of your life. In the end you will be surprised to see that the Cross has become a mighty sword in your hand. Read Romans 6.
A High Vantage Point
The prayer warrior lives in "heavenly places" – "far above all principality and power" (Eph. 1:20-21). This is the only location for effectual prayer. Any other position is too low to afford a grip on Satan's "strongholds." One has to be above Satan’s principalities in order to cast them down (2 Cor. 10:4-5).
The "heavenlies" is the place of authority. Ephesians 1:20-21 speaks of it as the place of "His own right hand." It is while seated there that you can shout to all the devils in hell that you are "complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power" (Col. 2:10). It is there that you can make a show of Satan, triumphing over him because Christ "spoiled principalities and powers" (Col. 2:15).
Climb by faith to the "heavenlies" and there, seated with Him, declare your position as a true warrior. There is no room for carnal weapons, but your weapons are "mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds…" (2 Cor. 10:4-5; Eph. 6:10-18). Climb, Christian, climb!
The Secret of the Battle
Deep in the heart of any true soldier is a driving passion. Without it there would be no power behind the sword and no glory in his victory. What is it that makes him "love not his life unto death?" (Rev. 12:11).
Is it a consuming love for the lost souls of men? Definitely, no! In fact, there are times when the very souls that he seeks to save turn against him. If his passion were not based on something greater than the salvation of souls, he would sink a thousand times into bitter disappointments and heart break. The saving of souls has its place, but certainly not the first place. The crowning passion goes far beyond saving human beings from hell.
Then what is it? It is the Saviour, Himself! To see that One crowned as Lord and completely satisfied – that is enough to draw the best out of any Christian. "He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied…" (Isa. 53:11).
Whenever you see the unsaved, let it stir your heart to jealousy for your Christ. True, they suffer because they are without Christ, but Christ suffers far more intensely because He is being robbed of them. In pagan lands Satan is being worshiped as God. He is actually stealing the worship which belongs to God alone. Even the so-called Christian nations have gone after other gods.
It is the broken, cheated heart of Christ that fires the Christian to die in battle. In the thick of the fight he is spurred on by the cry of His Lord, "That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else" (Isa. 45:6). So Christian, allow the deep surges of jealousy for your Christ to swell into devoted action.
Identify yourself with the sinner. Bear in mind that you yourself, apart from the grace of God, are just as worthy of hell as the worst sinner. As you do this you will plead the Blood of Christ on individuals and nations as though you were the guilty party. You will find yourself strangely identified with the sinner. The wide gulf which previously existed between you and the multitudes of heathen will disappear. This was the attitude of the prophets of old.
Bind the strong man. "…How can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man…?" (Matt. 12:29). There are men, women, homes, villages, yea, whole nations who are helpless in the grasp of the "strong man," Satan. His lairs can never be looted until he is bound. Do we as Christians think enough of the "spoil" which is concealed in his prisons to expose ourselves in open battle with him? How many thousands of times we hurriedly pray, "Lord, bless the heathen today," and let it go at that? Do you really care, Christian?
Then lay hold of the "strong man" and bind him in definite, concentrated prayer. God has given you powerful chains with which to do this. Listen: "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19).
Meet each of his onslaughts with the Word of God, not with your own. Remind Satan verbally that Christ came in the flesh and as a man, defeated him. Use such Scriptures as, "For this purpose was the Son of God manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). Draw his attention over and over to the fact of your God-given "authority over all the power of the enemy" (Luke 10:19).
Triumphant in Christ. Always bear in mind that victory already has been wrought. You don't struggle toward victory, but you rejoice in accomplished fact.
While you triumph in unseen accomplishments, God will be dealing out the death blows to the enemy. Your whole attitude must be gloriously positive, and it will be as you keep your eyes, not on the devil, but on your triumphant Lord.
"Now thanks be unto God, who leads us from place to place in the train of His triumph, to celebrate His victory over the enemies of Christ" (2 Cor. 2:14; Conybeare).
You will be amazed to find how He does lead you "from place to place." It will set you to tingling with the zest of adventure. There are breathtaking surprises around every corner, for God is there ahead of you. He, too, enjoys it, and never tires of new experiences.
You will find, as some others have found, that the exquisite joy of knowing Him in the midst of battle is the crowning joy of life! The battle has knit your heart to His, and also His to yours.
– From Calling All Prayer Warriors (tract). Used by permission.