I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7
Physical races are common all over the world. People run or race cars in races in order to win a prize. In order for someone to be good enough to win the first prize, he must work at it and keep running. He must fight against his body crying out for him to stop.
In the same way, there are also many other races that people have to run in life. However, when things get difficult, people give up the fight and stop running the race. They allow others to win the race.
Paul is evidently nearing the end of his life as he tells Timothy that he has fought the good fight and is finishing the race. He never gave up on the faith.
The greatest fight a person can fight is for the fight of his soul and the souls of other people. Living on this earth for God is a race against death and sin. The world does not want anyone to succeed in following God, because it goes against everything they believe.
The world will do whatever it can to stop a believer from following God. For the believer there is a race against time to keep in the race and to finish it. The finish line is when a believer dies.
Many people have succumbed to the pressures of this world to give up the race and quit the faith. They got weary and chose to stop running and fighting for their souls and the souls of others.
Every believer needs to look at what is at the finish line–eternal life. No one knows exactly where is finish line is, but he must never give up on the race and the fight until he crosses the finish line and wins the prize.
As you are going through life, the world will throw every thing it can at you to stop you from following Jesus. Do not give in to the pressure to stop. Do not give up what you know to be truth from God’s word.
Rely upon God strength to keep running and fighting the good faith for your soul and the souls of others. It won’t be long before you will cross the finish line and you don’t want to be caught short of finishing it well with God.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hold on to your faith in God; that you will fight against the temptation to sin against God; that you will keep running the race that God has called you to run; and that you will finish the race God has given you.
Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” John 18:11
No one likes to be improperly abused or have anything done wrong against them. As soon as abuse or wrong is done, most people rise up to fight back the one who did the wrong.
This fight is often with words, but can also be physically fighting back. The fight is for their rights and to get back at the person to try and stop the wrong. Very few will just sit back and take what comes.
Jesus was in the garden with the disciples being arrested. Peter strikes one of the arrestors with a sword. He is told to put the sword away. Jesus is willing to take what has been give to Him.
Believers are often quick to say that they will follow God, but are also quick to fight back against what He sends their way or allows. Everything that occurs in the life of a believer is for a purpose. It can be to build the believer or to build others.
Jesus had to be arrested in order to fulfill His mission on this earth. Along with the arrest would also come the crucifixion. It was all in God’s plan for Him.
Most believers love the idea of following God, but will fight back against giving their lives for Him or others. They want a rosy, easy path to heaven, not willing to accept God’s plan for their lives. They will pull out a sword to stop God’s plan in order to save their own lives.
Every believer needs to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and in tune with what God is doing. God is in control and will allow ‘bad’ things to happen in one’s life to accomplish the greater goal–salvation of souls.
As you go through life, God will allow the enemy to attack you at times. These attacks may be to move you to somewhere else, build you, use you to be a witness or to stop you. Regardless of the reason, you must trust God’s allowance.
Seek God to find out what you must do in every situation. Do not be like the world and automatically fight back. Be will to accept what God has for you.
Allow God to use the negative situation to bring about a positive.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will reveal what He has for you; that God will give you strength and wisdom in every situation; and that you will allow God to use you to build His kingdom.
‘This is what the LORD says: Do not go up to fight against your fellow Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’ So they obeyed the words of the LORD and turned back from marching against Jeroboam. 2 Chronicles 11:4
Following orders from a leader does not always make sense. Often leaders will see a bigger picture than the worker at the bottom. He understands things in ways that the lower workers do not always see or understand. In knowing this, often commands will be given that don’t always make sense.
When Rehoboam had become king of Judah, he cracked down harder on the people. A group of people chose to follow Jeroboam and broke away from Judah and became their own nation. Rehoboam had chosen to take his army and go fight to gain back the lost land and cities from Jeroboam.
As they began to march out, God sent a prophet to tell him not to go and fight against Jeroboam. Everything that was occurring was because of God’s doing. Rehoboam chose to obey God and turned back and went home.
Israel was supposed to be God’s chosen nation, His chosen people. To see it be split up was not an acceptable thing. Yet, that was exactly what God was making happen.
For years God had warned the nation of Israel against following false idols, but they refused to listen. He finally allowed the nation to be split. This was to get their attention back to Him.
God works in the same way today. There will be things allowed in the lives of people to get their attention back to Him. As these things occur it can be difficult. Without seeing the big picture, many will choose paths that go against what God is doing. Each person needs to open to hearing what God tells them to do, and then obey Him.
There will be times when God will allow things in your life that does not always make sense. God will tell you to walk a path that goes against normal reasoning. Trust God in what He says and follow His orders.
God raises up and He takes down. These things are all a part of His plan. His goal is that none should be lost and all made like Jesus.
Are you following His commands to build His kingdom and become more like Jesus?
Or are you doing your own thing?
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God’s voice in your life; that you will obey God’s every command; and that you will become more like Jesus every day.