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.