Fight Plan for Life

Our life in Christ is a constant fight. We fight against our own sin nature and pride. We fight against the culture we live in. In church, we fight against external ideals and influences that seek to lead us away from the Gospel. We fight with other believers over methods, preferences, politics, and mindsets. Above all, we fight a spiritual battle for life and death. Fighting is something we should expect we have been called to “fight the good fight.” This fight can wear us down and leave us feeling defeated and ready to give up. What we need is a plan, a fight plan. Here is my 7 step fight plan…

Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV – “10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

2 Timothy 4:1-7 NIV – “1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

So here’s our battle plan. We will…

1. Preach the Gospel:

Preach and proclaim the Gospel every day to ourselves and others. Jesus has overcome death and sin. He has done away with the penalty of sin and taken away the power of sin for all who believe. This is the fight we see and feel. It is the fight between sin and satan against Jesus and His righteousness. We came to know Jesus by his victory and we will continue to find victory in Him. The Gospel is the solution to every problem; preach it, teach it, live it. 

 2 Timothy 4:2 – “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” 

Preach the Gospel to yourself and others:

God is perfect. Jesus lived perfectly for me. He is my righteousness

God loves me. Jesus died for my sins. I am loved and forgiven. 

God is powerful and mighty. Jesus rose from the dead. I am more than a conqueror in him. 

God is alive and present with me. He sent his Spirit to be with me and in me. I am not alone or without the power to overcome. 

God is for me not against me

                                                                                                  Gospel Fluency- Jeff Vanderstelt 

2. Love Sacrificially: 

Jesus calls us to a costly love. Loving others like Jesus will stretch us, challenge us, it will confront our fears and biases. We are to love the unlovable and those who seem undeserving of love. To love like Jesus means getting our hands and lives dirty for other people’s sake. God has called us to be the living display of His love. Sacrificial love is God’s love on display. 

2 Timothy 4:6 NLT – “6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near.”

1 John 3:16 NIV – “16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

1 Corinthians 13:5-7 NLT – “5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

3. Have Courage:

This doesn’t mean to be careless, reckless, or even fearless. We have to have courage in the midst of our fear. We must stand on the truth and to move forward in faith, trusting that God is fighting for us. We always need to remember that the battle and the victory belong to God. We need to remember that we are joining God in His fight; we are not asking him to join in ours.   …”Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chron 20:15

Facing giants, trained armies, unscalable walls, and an untold number of battles ahead all with untrained men, God said to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV 

Philippians 1:20 ESV – “as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”

4. Make the Most of Every Opportunity:

Don’t wait for everything to be just right to serve the Lord. Most times opportunities come when things aren’t right. We need to be praying, watching, and seeking where God is moving and join with Him. When we see a need, get a call, and are prompted by the Holy Spirit; we need to act swiftly. We need to live with a patient sense of urgency and flexibility to allow God to change our plans. 

2 Timothy 4:2 – “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” 

Ephesians 5:15-17 NLT – “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”

5. Celebrate Your Wins:

We have to continually celebrate what God is doing around us. Be sure to call a win a win. Even through adversity, there are wins. Identify progress, breakthroughs, heart change, salvations, unity, teamwork, relationships, and celebrate them!

Psalm 150:1-6 ESV – “1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! 2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! 3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! 4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! 5 Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV – “Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

6. Grieve Your Losses: 

We suffer a multitude of losses in life, yet we live like they were unexpected. We don’t want to become callous and distant as a way to shelter ourselves from loss. We need to embrace our losses, grieve well, invite the comfort of God and others in, and learn from them. When you love sacrificially with your whole heart when there is a loss, you feel it with your whole heart. It hurts a lot. We grieve much when we love much. Throughout life we will have losses, relationships fail, jobs change, we get denied, rejected, ministry ideas fail, people leave churches, conflict goes unresolved, marriages end, cancer strikes, friends move away, loved ones pass away, and many others. Depressing, I know. We need to grieve these losses or they will eat us up inside. You need to feel the anger, wrestle with the regret, trust God through the depression, resist denying it hurts or happened, and not grow an indifferent acceptance of losses. The Gospel is the power of Christ Jesus to overcome and comfort us in any and every situation. 

Psalm 34:17-19 ESV – “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

7. Be Strong in the Lord:

When I find myself too tired to fight; when I feel like there is no fight left in me, I have to ask myself a couple of questions. First, what have I been fighting for, or better still, who? Second, have I been fighting the good fight alone under my own strength? Usually, I find that my fight fatigue is a combination of a few of these factors. The cure is time alone with God in His word and in prayer. He then reminds me that He has made me strong in the Lord, not myself. This is the importance of prayer and God’s word as our main sustenance in life. I am only as strong as my prayer life and my devotional life. Starved of prayer and the Word, every soldier of Jesus (that’s you) is stripped of their power and protection. 

     God has also given us one another. He has made it so that no one fights alone, or at least they shouldn’t. Being in authentic, life giving community with other believers is a non-negotiable for God’s people. 

Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV – “10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

The battle belongs to the LORD! 

His Kingdom Come, His will be done!