The Apostle Paul comes to the end of his life and he writes this to his student Timothy “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (See 2 Timothy 4:7) When I read this those three words stood out to me: fought, finished, faith. I started to break down each word individually and this is what I discovered.
Paul tells Timothy earlier to fight the good fight of faith (See 1 Timothy 6:12). In order for us to do this, we must put on the full armor of God as Paul instructs the church in Ephesus to do in Ephesians 6:10. As we look through the armor we find that all of the pieces are used for protection or defense except one. The only weapon that is used for offense is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. So you can have salvation, faith, truth, peace, and righteousness, but without the Word, all you are going to be able to do is play defense. I don’t know about you but I played baseball, and though I liked playing defense, I couldn’t wait until it was my turn to bat because I loved going on offense. Offense is the only way to score and the last time I checked the team that scores the most wins. Perry Noble, Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church, challenged us a few weeks ago to take the ball and run up the score against the enemy. The only way we are going to be able to do that is if we hide the Word of God in our heart. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He fought back by saying “It is written.” Read the word, know it, study it, dive into it, quit playing defense, and start advancing the ball for the Kingdom of God.
God never starts anything He’s not planning on finishing and neither should we (See Philippians 1:6). The last three words that Jesus said as He was hanging on the cross was “It is finished.” (See John 19:30) The truly amazing thing about this statement is that Jesus said it before He rose again. He declared victory before the work had been done. This is the greatest example of how we should approach life. My former boss had a quote on his desk that I’ll never forget and this is what it said “What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail.” We should be attacking life with this mindset because it’s already finished we just have to walk in it. Look in the Word. God always refers to us in past tense. Your calling, your cause, and your purpose have already been completed by God. Walk in that victory today.
Hebrews 11:1 gives us the definition of faith. It says “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” In other words, when what you see doesn’t lineup with what you know is true in God’s Word, you keep believing that what you don’t see will soon become what you see. I heard a pastor give this personal translation of this verse “It is through faith where the very essence of what you want in life; according to God’s will and plan, even though it is no where in sight, in your heart it becomes a reality.” You could end up losing everything in this life, but as long as you still have faith, you will be able to get it all back. The author of Hebrews goes on to say however without faith it is impossible to please God (See Hebrews 11:6). Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:13, that after everything is said and done, faith is one of three things that remains. So no matter what the world throws your way, remember that what God put inside of you is greater than anything the enemy can put around you, and hold on tight to your faith because we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken.