I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
“ Fight the good fight of faith..”
(1 Timothy 6:12)
As we walk this faith out, we know that it is a daily battle with thoughts and actions that counter the desire to please God. The pull of this world is strong. The waves of its ways and manners are too easy to ride if we aren’t intentionally fighting to swim against it.
Here is what is incredible about God’s Word: it never leaves us feeling hopeless. And the Word of God isn’t filled with hope without being filled with the reason for why we must hope. We are reminded in His Word that this internal struggle to cling to Jesus while having the war of sin rage within us isn’t anything new under the sun.
Paul comforts us with these affirming words in Romans 7: 15-23:
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”
Paul understood that the struggle is all too real. How encouraging is that? He knew that as we desire to do good and pleasing things for the Lord, evil is always lurking. The enemy seeks to keep us from the freedom found in Christ as slaves to righteousness. Rather, he deceives us with the idea that there is more freedom found in appeasing the flesh, which makes us slaves to sin.
The beautiful truth is that IN Christ, the power of sin is defeated once and for all because of what Christ has done on the cross (Romans 6:6-7) Our sinful nature may still live in us but our sinful nature is no longer the identity we bear. We are made new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:7). We are born-again. We are redeemed. We are children of God. We are justified, not having to be re-justified.
This fight is evidence of being born again because the Holy Spirit in us is helping us hate our sin more. Before we knew God, our sin didn’t convict us like it does now. We were blind to the ways our sin grieved God and we didn’t grieve over our own sin. Now, thankfully, we are being gently and patiently led to choose righteousness more and more, day by day. Praise be to God!
Like Paul, we can say with deep conviction that we don’t want to be overcome by sin and we don’t have to be. Why? Because of these words in Romans 7:24:
Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Christ has rescued us from the bondage of sin and graces us to fight it daily. The fight that we are in is so real that it can’t be fought by our own strength. This fight is a reminder by the Holy Spirit to be aware that our fallen nature is not something to be taken lightly. We can’t coast as Christians. In fact, the moment our eyes are open to Christ, the fight within increases. The enemy is enraged and his tactics to kill, steal and destroy the hope of Christ in us fires up.
However, we don’t have to be afraid of the fight or discouraged by the fight. But we can’t be afraid to fight. We have been given the weapons (Ephesians 6). Let’s arm ourselves with the truth of His Word. As the Psalmist said “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I may not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11). Let’s not neglect the protection of being in community so that we aren’t fighting alone. The enemy loves lone Christians. Let’s not give him what he wants. Community is not just a choice as a Christian. It is mandatory. Finally, let’s not deny the power of our environments. We can’t expect to overcome the fight when we are not intentional about cultivating the desire to please God. We can’t afford to nurture our sinful nature. Our environments matter (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Women of God, let’s encourage one another to fight this good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12), knowing that we don’t fight alone and we don’t fight in vain. Take courage! Let this fight be an encouraging reminder that you are IN Him and He is IN you.
The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
Psalm 119: 11
1 Corinthians 15:33
2 Corinthians 5:7
1 Timothy 6:12
Questions to reflect on: