fighting the good fight of the faith

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

There are times when we become aware of the need to fight. Usually for me it is on a personal level in which the faith itself is not under attack, but my own faith in the faith. And that is never at least in recent years a head on to directly challenge the faith itself, but more like a broadside in which my faith is undermined and for all practical purposes seemingly made null and void.

That is when I have to take up what is happening as a challenge to fight. Of course it is a good fight in the Lord, not at all in terms of the world. But it is a fight, nonetheless.

I take whatever steps are necessary and good, and I seek to be in prayer. Such a challenge can suffocate prayer, taking the air out of attempts to pray. So we may do well not to try to all the sudden be prayer champions, praying hours on end and perhaps standing on our heads as we do so. Definitely not the latter, which could do harm to you physically, I was thinking of some of the strange things desert fathers and mothers may have done in the past, even though they were indeed extraordinary people of prayer. We need instead to utter prayers here and there, as frequently as we can. And we need to be still, as well. In other words we need to keep right on practicing the faith as best we can, perhaps with an emphasis and exclamation on it at this point.

We in Jesus need to hold on to faith, hope and love. These are indispensable. Of course we need everything else available to us in the Lord by the Spirit in this life. And that includes reading the psalms along with the rest of scripture. And I would like to emphasize the Sermon on the Mount. But from Genesis through Revelation we need it all.

All of the life in Jesus is about being in this fight for the faith, of course not at all a physical fight or warfare, but solely spiritual, played out in physical acts of love, not violence. Always the way of the cross. And so in that sense in Jesus we are soldiers so to speak, in it for the long haul to the end. And there are also those days, not just the present age which might be called the evil day, but certain days when this is acutely so. When we especially feel under attack. These might not be days, but more like times in a day, or times during a week, etc.

This is part and parcel of who we are in Christ and our life in the here and now.