A Fighting Chance
As men of God, sometimes we wonder if the battle will ever end… if we will ever win. The Apostle Paul said in Philipians 3, “I count myself not to have attained… but this one thing I do, I press toward the mark of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The challenges in life are what give us the ultimate victory in Christ. Oswald Chambers wrote a book called “A Fighting Chance.” Either we are victims of things that happen, or we take the initiative though the power of God and we make things happen. In God’s economy, there are consumers and there are producers, there are takers and there are givers, there are spectators and there are participants. Christianity is not a spectator sport. You’ve got to play to win. The greater the battle, the greater the victory. You have to put yourself in the game of life. Only then can God give you a fighting chance.
Romans 8:35-39 says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall famine or nakedness or peril or sword? As it is written, for these things we are killed all the day long. We are counted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerers through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither life, nor death, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor death, nor any other creature shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The fight is against apathy and the way of the world. In our own strength we cannot fight against the powers of darkness. From the inspired words of the great hymn by Martin Luther:
A Mighty Fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing… Did we in our own strength confide, our battle would be losing, were not the Right Man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing. Doth ask who that may be? Christ Jesus it is He. And He must win the battle.
Chambers said that little boys during the French Revolution carried banners with the words, “Tremble tyrants, we are growing.” God said to Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones, “Can these bones live? They are without life, without sinew, muscle and flesh.” Ezekiel said to God. “If you say so, they can live.” God said to prophesy my word over these dry bones and they shall live. So Ezekiel prophesied and there was a great rattling as bone connected to bone. Then sinew and muscle formed and joined bone to bone and then skin came upon the flesh. Then Ezekiel said, “but Lord, they have no breath in them.” So then the Lord breathed upon the dry bones and the bones began to move according to the power of God… Only the word of God and the spiritual breath of God gives life.
When the Lord arrives, the devil and his minions must leave. Even the devils believe and tremble. They know who has the greater power… Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. Jesus Christ said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were (spiritually) dead, yet shall he live.” Without the spirit of God, the unsaved man is spiritually dead. He cannot put on the spiritual armor described in Ephesians 6:10-17. He is not equipped to stand against the schemes of the devil, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. God’s Salvation is only through accepting the Lordship of Jesus Christ according to the power of the Resurrection.
There are four categories of men after hearing the spiritual life-giving gospel of salvation.
The first is those who reject the message outright. The second category is those who vainly attempt to receive salvation, but there is still something missing and they know it. The third is those who think they are saved, but they’re not. They remain lost, blinded by the sinfulness of their own pride. As the scripture says in Matthew 7:22-23:
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The fourth category is those who after receiving the message unto salvation, know whom they have believed and are persuaded that he is able to keep that (spiritual life) which he’s committed to them against the day of judgement.
For those in the fourth category Jesus prayed to his father, “those that thou hast given me… protect them from the evil one.” The power of the darkness of this world constantly surrounds us. If we think that we can avoid the fight, then the battle is already lost. Casual Christians are casualties of the spiritual battle. My prayer is not that God is on my side, rather, my prayer is that I am on God’s side.
What is our responsibility? Our responsibility is our response to His ability. Men of God have been called to fight the good fight, to over come the world through the spiritual life-giving power of the Resurrection. Overcomers having received spiritual life will stand victoriously in His presence in the day of God’s righteous judgement. Therefore be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58) Put yourself in the game. Give yourself a fighting chance. On God’s team the odds are in God’s favor. The victory will be in this life or the next… Now thanks be unto God who always giveth us the victory in Christ Jesus and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. (2 Corinthians 2:14)
O Victory in Jesus, my savior forever; He sought me and bought me,
With his redeeming blood; He loved me ere I knew him,
And all my love is due him; He plunged me to victory; Beneath the cleansing flood.
May God richly bless you.
Your brother in Christ,