Fight Like a Man

I have a men’s devotional booklet at work that my friend and riding buddy, Paul, gave me. I’ve used it a few times when I’ve a free minute or two, which is rare these days. I was looking at its cover, and, as you can see, it has a boxer on the cover with the words, “Come Out Fighting.”

Those words appeal to men. We want to fight. We want to fight for what’s right. We want to fight for our honor. We want to fight for our families. Our heroes (which aren’t only men) want to fight for our country, for our freedom, for our way of life. We want to fight.

But I think that title may give the wrong impression. I think that for 95% of the “Christian Soldiers”, fighting means praying harder, trying harder, having more faith, or serving in as many ways as possible. While prayer and service are wonderful things, showing us the heart of God, many times we do them in our own strength. We engage in spiritual warfare with naivety, praying louder and louder, thinking that we can shout down our enemy, Satan. We serve others at a frantic pace, hoping that by doing more, we become more acceptable to God.

I say, “WE”, because I include myself. I’ve been guilty of this most of my Christian life. But I’m discovering that, first and foremost, I’m acceptable by God just as I am right now. I don’t need to do anything else. In fact, as I’ve said before, there’s nothing I can do to make me more acceptable or less acceptable to God. He loves me and accepts me RIGHT NOW, with all my flaws, with all my mistakes, and with all my weaknesses. (Romans 8:38-39)

In fact, that’s where the Jesus-follower fights from: a position of weakness. It is from a posture of weakness that God can truly show His strength. It is through weakness that His power is made perfect (2Corinthians 12:9-10). We can come humbly and boldly to the throne of grace and find mercy and grace in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16). And in doing so, we can have a confidence that in our weakness, we can “fight the good fight” that the apostle Paul talks about (1Timothy 6:12, 2Timothy 4:7)

It’s counter-intuitive, but as Jesus-followers, that is where the fight is won: a position of weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV:
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

A Clever Deception

I don’t want to review movies, but Sharon and watched the movie “Noah” Friday night and it’s taken a couple of days to compose my thoughts on the movie. It bothered me.

My emotion leaving the movie was filled with dismay and anger. I’m not bothered by the movie not being biblically sound. That seemed to bother many, but it didn’t really bother me, in a way.

What bothered me most was a clever, subtle reversal. It’s a reversal the enemy, Satan, delights in. It’s one he is very good at. It is something similar to his original deception.

What became astoundingly clear by the end of the movie was the depiction of good as evil and evil as good. It seemed (to me) that the following was portrayed:

1) The fallen angels were depicted as once betrayed by humans (ha!) and in the end, helpers of Noah. They were the good guys, even shown as heroic.

[As opposed to Isaiah 14:12-15; Revelation 12:7-9; John 8:44]

2) Noah was depicted as evil, hell-bent on destroying – literally – his family in order to be obedient to God.

[As opposed to: “This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” (Genesis 6:9 NIV)]

3) God was depicted as a vengeful, hateful Creator, bent on destroying the ENTIRE human race, including Noah and his family. He was depicted as a God who would kill babies, and only Noah’s supposed disobedience saved his family, and, of course, the human race.

[As opposed to Genesis 6:17-20; Romans 5:8; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8-10]

4) Humans were portrayed as solely to blame for the Fall, the original sin of Adam and Eve, and there was no blame cast on Satan, and later, his minions. Some watching the movie may have thought that even the Creator was to blame.

[As opposed to Genesis 3:14; James 1:13-15]

5) Humanity was only saved by the will and disobedience of a man.

[As opposed to the fact that humanity is saved only by God’s redeeming Son. See Romans 5:16-19; Hebrews 5:8-9; Romans 5:6-9]

Good was evil. Evil was good. The classic deception of the father of lies.

However, truth brings freedom, and the truth will always be that as Christ-followers, we are children of God, by the love the Father has lavished on us (1 John 3:1). We have the Spirit of Jesus living inside us (John 7:39-39), and we live in the unshakeable Kingdom of God. (Hebrews 12:28; Matthew 16:18; Revelation 20:7-10)

Always victorious!