Picking the Good Fight

pick your battle

There’s nothing like a good fight! That is, if you win. Or, at least if you can wear the other person down. Years ago, I remember having heated arguments with my brother. I realize now Howell thoroughly enjoyed arguing for the sake of arguing. It was a game to him and we would go at it for hours.

Were they good fights? Probably not. At least, not for me. Invariably, we would come to an impasse and part ways. Guess who was left in tears, exhausted and frustrated. Me! That is, until I read the following verse in the Bible.

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” II Timothy 2:23

From then on, I refused to argue and our relationship was better for it. Life is full of serious conflicts and battles of all kinds. Some we win; some we lose and some we overcome with time. Some battles we inherit and some happen by our being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As a wise sage once advised, “Choose your battles.” If you’re a parent, you know exactly what this means. Life is too short to waste our energy on petty disagreements that get us nowhere.

One thing for sure, if we’re going to pick a fight, we darn well better pick a good one. A good fight is one that has a higher purpose beyond the moment and beyond ourselves. A good fight is one we fight by faith.

The apostle Paul took the course and passed it. From the time of his conversion, Paul’s life was a constant struggle. In II Cor. 7:5-6, he described it as “conflict from every direction with battles on the outside and fear on the inside.”

And yet, Paul won the battle. In 2 Timothy 4:6-7, his parting words were “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”

Because of where it’s fought, the good fight of faith can be like a war, a tightrope and a banquet.

front lines

1. A War

*Because: The battle is fought on the front lines.

*Example: King David chose not to go to the front lines with his men and he paid a heavy price. (2 Samuel 11)

*Warning: Don’t retreat due to lack of discipline and responsibility.

*Reward: God’s blessings and victory over sin.

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2. A Tightrope

*Because: The battle is fought on what feels like a thin wire.

*Example: Joshua and the battle of Jericho. (Joshua 5:13-6:27)

*Warning: Don’t lose your spiritual balance due to a lack of patience, focus and/or obedience. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Reward: victory over the enemy and great joy.

woman praying on knees

3. A Banquet

*Because: The battle is fought at God’s table on your knees.

*Example: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:31-42)

*Warning: Don’t miss the feast God has for you. Come to the table on a consistent basis. This will require humility, courage and need.

*Reward: Fulfillment, satisfaction and the joy God has for you when you desire His will more than your own.

As believers, let’s decide to pick the good fight of faith, one that is noble and guarantees victory. It won’t be easy, but the rewards will trump the challenges.

The Hebrew word for fight means “to feed on, to consume, to battle, to overcome, to prevail.”

Remember: “The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Exodus 14:14 NLT)

woman celebrating victory

Over the past year, how have you seen the Lord fighting for you? How has He helped  you to stay calm in the midst of the battle?                            

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Comments
6 Responses to “Picking the Good Fight”
  1. vondaskelton says:

    Timely word for me, Liz, as I frequently battle with my brother. I’ve been able to avoid another fight since our last one years ago, but the relationship has been long damaged. I just pray God will intervene and heal. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Thanks, friend for sharing your dilemma with your brother. I pray with you that somehow God will heal your relationship. Knowing you, I’m sure the pain of unresolved conflict never really goes away for you. God bless you and may He keep you strong.

  2. Mary Beth Welsh says:

    What a wonderful, fresh perspective on spiritual warfare and picking the good fight. As always I am so thankful for you, your vulnerability and obedience to share what the Lord has taught you. Love you!

    • Thanks for checking in, sweet daughter. Your encouragement helps to keep me going. I am also thankful for your insights, wisdom and wonderful example of a Godly woman. I love you. Mom

  3. Kathy Biedenharn says:

    My buttons have been pushed so many times, they’ve been worn to a flat surface. Thy Will be done, for sure.

    • Oh Kathy, what a blessing you’ve been to me over the years. Even if it has been long distance. You’ve persevered through a lot and I’m sure your witness has meant more to many people than you know. Keep the faith, sweet friend!

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