Fight the good fight of faith.…
— 1 Timothy 6:12
Many believers have the misconception that walking by faith means they should be able to effortlessly glide all the way to God’s destination for their lives with no hiccups or struggles along the way. But the Bible teaches quite the opposite in First Timothy 6:12. In that verse, the apostle Paul wrote, “Fight the good faith of faith….” According to this verse, the path of faith often requires a fight to see it through to completion.
The word “fight” is the Greek word agonidzo, which refers to a struggle, a fight, great exertion, or effort. It is where we get the word agony — a word often used in the New Testament to convey the ideas of anguish, pain, distress, and conflict. The word agonidzo itself comes from the word agon, which is the word that depicted the athletic conflicts and competitions that were so famous in the ancient world. It frequently pictured wrestlers in a wrestling match, with each wrestler struggling with all his might to overcome his opponent in an effort to hurl him to the ground in a fight to the finish.
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The very fact that Paul would use this word, a word that was very well known in the world of his time, alerts us emphatically that when we step out to do something by faith, it often pushes us into a previously unknown fight. It throws us into some type of agony — anguish, conflict, pain, distress, or a struggle. It isn’t that God wants us to struggle. Instead, this is a fight that results from:
- The flesh that resists the will of God.
- The mind that struggles to understand what God has told us to do.
- Circumstances that seem to stand in the way.
- People who oppose us.
- The devil himself who throws his weight against each step of faith we take.
The point you must see is that Paul recognized when we step out in faith, we don’t just effortlessly glide to the destination God is directing us toward. We must fight the good fight of faith to reach the victorious position that allows us to one day hear those cherished words, “Well done!” from our Commander-in-Chief. But rather than shrink from the match that is before us, the apostle Paul urges us to give this fight our best effort! He tells us, “Fight the good fight of faith…” The word “good” is from the Greek word kalos, which denotes something exceptional, of the highest quality, outstanding, or superb. In the context of a fight, it pictures one who has given his best effort to the struggle in which he is engaged; hence, he is one who is doing a first-rate or first-class job at resisting his opponents.
Then Paul repeated the word “fight” a second time in this verse. He wrote, “Fight the good fight of faith.…” This second usage of the word “fight” is also from the Greek word agon — the same word he used when he referred to a “fight” at the first of the verse. It conveys the idea of one who is giving his complete concentration to the conflict and is totally focused on engaging the conflict at hand and achieving victory, regardless how long it takes or how much agonizing effort is required. It is the picture of total commitment to victory.
This is a far cry from simply gliding to God’s destination for your life with no hiccups or headaches along the way! As Paul told us in this verse, anything that is done by faith will require a fight of some sort in order to win. So if you are experiencing a struggle along the path to your personal victory — if you’ve been fighting off some very real mental or spiritual assaults along the way — don’t be taken off guard or by surprise. The Holy Spirit warned in advance through the apostle Paul that you must commit yourself to giving the pursuit of God’s will for your life your very best effort and to doing whatever is necessary to finish the goal set before you!
God is calling upon you to stand up and fight — giving your concentrated efforts to stand firm for what you believe. Fight in a manner that is noble, admirable, and worthy of the reward that awaits you. And remember — the greater reward usually requires a greater fight. Keep this in mind as you press forward to be first-class in your determination to overcome every obstacle and resistance along the way. Stay in the fight until you can shout, “The fight is finished and victory obtained!”
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I admit that I’m in a fight. I need grace and strength to stay in this match and finish it to completion. I didn’t realize how much would be required of me. But I am determined and committed to keep up the good fight of faith until I can say the fight is finished and victory is accomplished. Holy Spirit, I ask You to fill me with a fresh supply of Your power, strength, and resolve — a supernatural level of commitment — so I will stay in the fight till my assignment is fulfilled.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I boldly declare that God knows exactly what I am facing. I am not fighting this good fight of faith by myself! The Holy Spirit lives in me and fills me with His power — enough power to resist any opponent that would try to stop me from fulfilling God’s plan. Today I yield to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to fill me to the brim with His power that resists every opposing force and endures strong to the end so I can stay in this fight until it is over and I’ve won the victory.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Think of a biblical example of someone who fought a good fight of faith and stayed in the battle until his fight was complete and his victory was won. Can you name more than one?
- Can you call to mind some contemporary examples of individuals who fought a good fight of faith? What did they achieve by staying in the battle? How long did it take them to attain victory? What would have happened if they had given up and not followed through to completion?
- How long have you been fighting your good fight of faith? What is in jeopardy if you give up your fight and throw in the towel?