Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
Fight the good fight of the faith.
1 Timothy 6:11-12 (ESV)
Christ has won the victory for us! And now we are expected to take advantage of His victory! So let’s watch David again in 1 Samuel 17, this time as a human model from whom we can learn. How did he fight the good fight of the faith?
- Watch out for the fight before the fight (v 25-30)! David had come to do good to his brothers. But his eldest brother bombarded him with accusations: “You neglect your duties! You only came out of curiosity!” How did David react? Tit for tat? If he had done so, he might have lost his inner peace and joy in this fight before the fight. David turned away from him (30). The enemy was not his brother! Goliath was the enemy! David did not want to loose his energy in fighting against the wrong person. David won the fight before the fight! 1
- Be courageous (31-32)! Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine. Why was David so courageous? This Philistine had blasphemed and challenged the living God! It was obvious for David that this battle was the Lord’s (47). This made him courageous. If we are in a spiritual battle, it’s not because of us, but because we belong to Jesus. Our battles are actually His battles! And He has already won them. We only have to take advantage of this. It’s still a real fight, but we know the final outcome. So let’s be courageous!
- Use the logic of faith (33-37)! Because Saul doubted him, David explained that he had already been involved in fights as a shepherd boy. There is no place, job or age without battles. For David fights were normal. When a lion had grasped a lamb, David had to fight the lion to rescue it. And David had learned that he could trust the LORD! It was only logical for David that the LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion, … will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine (37). Has God helped you at least once in one of your spiritual battles? Then you have every reason to practise the same logic of faith in your present battle!
- Fight with your own weapons (38-40)! Saul thought, David would at least need good armour so he gave him his own. David tried it on, but was soon convinced that it would not be helpful to fight in someone else’s armour. He went back to his own simple but familiar weapons of sling and stones. “In the kingdom of God, no one should fight with weapons that fit somebody else. Many have weakened themselves by imitating people instead of accepting the way God has made them.”2
- Never forget: There is a God in Israel! (41-47)! David was convinced of the truth: We have a real, almighty, sovereign God! That’s why he did without impressing weapons, but instead pursued faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand