The Fight of My Life
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called . . .
A buddy and I ran our first marathon in medical school after only a month of training. Looking back, I have no idea what we were thinking. Our longest training run before the race was 11 miles short of the full marathon distance and was miserable. To say the marathon was unpleasant would be an understatement. It was awful. I could not walk for days after it. I am not sure why we thought we could do it, but we showed up on race day and paid for our arrogance and ignorance.
I would like to say that I have become wiser with age, but I have done this as a middle-aged adult with my faith. Though I know life is a battle, I have spent years at a time sitting around, doing nothing to prepare for it. Dusting off my bible once a week on Sunday, I considered that to be my God-time. As in the marathon, I have paid for my lack of preparation.
I bought into Let go and let God. Since I am saved by faith, not by works, I cannot sanctify myself. I’ll just sit back and let God do it. Paul said this is not how it works. Life is anything but a spectator sport. If I want true life, I must take hold of it. I must fight the fight of the faith, fleeing destruction and pursuing godliness. These are anything but passive instructions.
This is the fight of and for my life and if I am not actively engaging in it, I am surrendering and losing. As long as I am in this flesh, the gravity of self is going to pull me towards destruction. Whether by drugs, pride, greed, lust, anger or just selfishness, my flesh will continually attempt to seduce my gaze from God. I must daily work at abandoning me to pursue God or by default, I will be following self away from Him.