Most of us have always thought of violence as having a negative connotation, but the dictionary says that violence is caused by or exhibiting intense emotional or mental excitement; passionate; impetuous; fierce. Could it be that we are living in a time when it just might be necessary to fight for what we believe instead of sitting by and allowing the world to become something that our Lord would never have chosen to die for? You have heard the expression that “the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12); if followers of our Lord, Jesus Christ, were so full of passion and willing to let it show, might we be able to change this world in which we live?
There will be times when we have no desire to fight, but if we truly belong to the Lord Jesus then His will must be considered in all that we choose to do. Will we choose to be “milk toast” people or will we choose to be forceful, but with kindness; strong and definite in our beliefs? Paul chose Timothy to be his companion and fellow-worker on his first missionary journey. When he later wrote the book of 1st Timothy, Paul encouraged those who would to Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses (6:12). If he were still here today, I know he would be saying the same thing to us.
Many of us may, at this point, feel as if the fight has already been won. Our Lord died and was raised again that we might have everlasting life. All we have to do to reach our final goal is to believe in our hearts. And besides that we can read more than once in the Word that Our God will fight for us. However, those words by Nehemiah were prefaced by Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there (4:20). While each one of us has our own individual fight in this life, there are still many who need us as reinforcements in their fight and God intended His children to help each other because He still loves us all in spite of our failures and lack of faith.
As we look around us today we will still see many churches where people are gathered to worship in fellowship with one another. But what happens when they leave church? Are they good for another week until the next opportunity to gather together? Does fighting the good fight in church on Sunday take care of the rest of the week? What about those that the Lord loves who still do not know him? I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad because I ask the same question of myself – do we simply invite those we run into to come to our church or do we speak to them out of the Word of God? Do we really try to impress upon them that our time is short and that there are actually requirements for admittance into our new and wonderful Heavenly home?
All of us can read the newspapers and listen to the newscasts on radio or TV. It would be foolish of us to count on living the rest of our lives in peace and comfort. Every day now there is something that speaks to us of the evil that is growing and beginning to encompass even the communities in which we live, work and raise our children. How much longer can we hide behind the supposition that someone else is going to take care of the problem for us? Will we fight while there is time or will we hide in the corner while someone else fights for us? Paul gives us the best answer - I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2nd Timothy 4:7).
Out of the light that dazzles me, bright as the sun from pole to pole,
I thank the God I know to be for Christ, the Conqueror of my soul.
I have no fear though strait the gate; He cleared from punishment the scroll;
Christ is the Master of my fate, Christ is the Captain of my soul.