Friday, August 3, 2012

The Call to Fight

Regardless of who we are, or what walk of life we are in, everybody fights for something. Some of us fight for an image. Some of us fight for approval. Some of us fight to be heard. Others fight to have control. Whatever it is, we are all fighting for something.

The New Testament is filled with imagery of fighting. However, for those who have new life in Christ, the call to fight shifts drastically. Whereas before, we tirelessly fight for our own identity, with Christ, the call is to fight to believe that Jesus is our new identity. Further, we must daily fight to believe that in Jesus, everything we long for and desire, we have in Him. Christians are called to keep fighting to believe in Jesus.

We must fight because this is not easy. How easily do I go back to believing the lies of sin and idolatry! Sin says Jesus isn't enough. Sin tells us the idols of our hearts are what we really need. If I only I had that one thing then life would be OK. I'll be satisfied if I had more money, or if I gain the acceptance of this circle of people, or if I am successful professionally then I'll have people's respect and have joy. Or, if I get a girlfriend/boyfriend I'll find the love I'm looking for. I need to fight to believe the gospel over these idolatrous lies every single day.

The truth is that our hearts were meant to find satisfaction in God and God alone. Our hearts were fashioned in his likeness, and they will be restless until they rest in Him (Augustine). Even though I know this is true, my heart drifts towards my idols every day. Because of that, the Bible calls us to fight to believe, to fight for our joy in Christ. Jonathan Dodson summarizes:

"Disciples of Jesus are called to fight, not in physical or virtual combat, but for the noble cause of everyday faith in Jesus...We fight to believe that Jesus is more precious, satisfying, and thrilling than anything this world has to offer. This is faith in the gospel-the grand announcement that Jesus has defeated sin, death, and evil through his own death and resurrection and is making all things new, even us."

Jonathan Dodson, Gospel-Centered Discipleship (Crossway, 2012), 59-60. 

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