BE GIRDED FOR BATTLE
“Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12).
THERE is no question but that every Christian has a battle to fight. That is why God’s Word describes him as a soldier. Soldiers are not for show or for dress parade. They are not merely to be looked upon and admired. Soldiers are to fight.
The battle which the Christian soldier fights is not a physical battle, but one in which spiritual forces are engaged. It is true that the things which the natural eyes see might bring discouragement in the spiritual warfare; but there is a more potent enemy to fight than even those we see with our physical eye. We have the adversary of our soul to fight. But the soul who is equipped with full armor provided through God’s Word is not going to be a victim of the adversary. He is girded with strength from Above and is anticipating nothing but victory.
What kind of soldier would anybody be who went out to battle expecting to be defeated? The real soldier—right in the heat of battle when hearts might be failing them for fear—can look up to believing God and see victory ahead, sure and certain victory!
A Strong Defense
In one of David’s songs of triumph we find these words of joy and thanksgiving:
“Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle” (Psalm 18:39).
The strength David spoke about was God-given. David was a spiritual man, had a perfect heart toward God, yet he had many battles. His victories were won because God fought his battles. He had a confidence and a bold assurance that God would undertake for him in every difficulty. He was encompassed about with enemies on every hand. The “bulls of Bashan” charged upon him, but he had a defense that was impregnable. God was his defense, the Lord was his strong arm— and victory was sure. He truly could say with confidence, “Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle.”
If anyone, in time of trial, is able to say what David said, and within his heart had the same assurance that David had, that one, too, will be able to stand the test and be more than conqueror. God’s Spirit and power are the same today as they were in the time of the worthies of old. May God give this younger generation the spirit of their forefathers!
Spirit of Endurance
Think of the fortitude, faith, and integrity of the “old warriors” who have gone on before to their rewards. Give us the spirit of those men and women who fought and died and triumphed! This western land reveres the spirit of the pioneers who forged across plains against hardship, bitterness, privation—oftentimes death—to establish the land that we enjoy today. We honor and respect those intrepid men and women; and when comparing their physical endurance with things spiritual, I like to meditate on a little verse which I have read many times:
Renew their breed; we need them back
To scorn the softness of our ways,
We need them back to teach us how
To meet the problems of these days.
Yes, we need the spirit of the pioneers; we need the spirit of those who, in the spiritual realm, were able to face hardships, endure hardness as good soldiers, and were always found in the front of the battle, out on the firing line regardless of circumstances or conditions. That is the kind of material that is needed today in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We pray that God will give us greater fortitude and increase our faith in this day and age.
Faith Brings Deliverance
Think of King Asa who, in olden times, had an army very poorly equipped compared with their enemy: a multitude of Ethiopians—“an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots”—who stood in array to challenge Asa’s men. What do you suppose happened? Why, the thing that always happens when one who has faith in God stands upon the truth that has been established in his heart—honoring God above all else:
“And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.
“So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled” (2 Chronicles 14:11, 12).
Asa had absolute faith and confidence in God; and that kind of faith surmounted insurmountable difficulties. He believed against everything that seemed impossible so far as human strength was concerned; and God honored his faith with great deliverance.
Listen to these words:
“My brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10,11).
Paul was telling his brethren, his fellow soldiers in the service of the Lord, to put on the “whole armour,” that they might be strengthened for the fight. Soldiers cannot fight with only a shield, or merely a helmet, or just a breastplate. No. They need a full armor.
In regard to this spiritual conflict, Paul says:
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:12,13).
We are under orders, as Christian soldiers, to do all that God calls us to do, all that God expects us to do, all that He has commanded us to do, and then—“having done all”—to “stand.” If we obey those orders and carry out those commands, the victory is sure; and when the smoke of battle is cleared away, we shall be found standing on the battlefield, victors!
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.”
Truth is found in the Word of God. If you get anything in the way of theories or ideas or convictions that are contrary to the truth of God’s Word, you can rest assured that you are wrong. There is only one thing to do about it: cast it all aside; and let your loins be “girt about with truth.” Only then can you be girded with strength for the battle.
Shield of Faith
We are given a most important command regarding our defensive equipment:
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
Faith is the secret of our defense. The shield of faith! What is faith? Faith is that which believes God against everything that is contrary to that which appears. It is believing God, standing on His Word of promise, having the assurance, regardless of circumstances or anything that arises, that God’s Word is true. With the shield of faith you can quench the darts of the wicked. The devil cannot throw a fiery dart at you that will pierce your shield of faith. That shield is a sure defense.
Equipped with the Spirit
Let no soul fail to take advantage of all God’s provisions.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Take God’s Word into your heart and pray that His Spirit will be in your life and in all your activities. Would you not rather have the knowledge that God’s Spirit is resting on your life than to have all the other equipment that this world might have to offer you? We thank God for the Spirit. It is the Spirit we love; it is the Spirit we recognize; and it is the Spirit whom we desire above everything else in our lives.
Oh, that God might give more people a dynamic charge from Heaven above, and put His Spirit upon their lives that they might proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ to this lost and dying world!
The Spirit of God energizes the Word of God. May every Christian lay hold of the Word of God as never before and ask God to touch his soul that he might receive a fresh baptism of power from on High for service!
Complete Your Armor
If you have not received all the spiritual benefits that God has provided, lay hold of God in living faith, expecting great things, expecting big things from God. He is on the giving hand. His Word is eternally true. He is faithful Who has promised and will withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly.
If you are saved and walking uprightly before God, He will give you the desire of your heart. He will sanctify you, if you are seeking sanctification. If you are sanctified and know that God has cleansed your heart, purified your heart with that second, wonderful work of grace, then God will give you the baptism of the Holy Ghost. If you seek God with all your heart, He will send the promised power and fill you with His Spirit to overflowing. God has promised that they who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.
Complete your armor, Christian soldier, that you may be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Be girded with strength from on High that you may fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life; and with Paul of old, you can shout, “Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.”