Fight for Your Faith

THE FIGHT: FIGHT FOR YOUR FAITH

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Boxing today is still one of the most popular – and profitable – sports; legendary champion example:

Muhammed Ali, 6’3”, 56 wins; 5 losses record

Tough as nails

Won heavyweight championship 3 times

Played critical role in advancing opportunities for African/American athletes

Trash Talker

“I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

“I am the greatest. I said that before I knew I was.”

“I done wrestled an alligator, I done tussled with a whale, I‘ve handcuffed lightning and thrown thunder. I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I’m so bad I make medicine sick.”

He wasn’t afraid to talk and did not lack self confidence:

Once on an airplane when the flight attendant told him to buckle his seat belt, he said, “Superman don’t need no seatbelt.”

The flight attendant responded, “Superman don’t need no airplane!” – some fights even Muhammed Ali couldn’t win!

 

LIFE IS A LOT LIKE A FIGHT

Even the Apostle Paul thought so, telling us in (2 Tim. 4:7) “I have fought the good fight”  and he goes on to say, “therefore I do not fight aimlessly, I do not fight like a boxer beating the air…” (1 Cor. 9:26) – no, he fights, he presses on.

This life we are called to live is sometimes a fight. 

 

Scripture tells us: Sometimes you feel like you’re in a fight and you can’t get up, like life is taking you out

 

MMA Star Ronda Rousey 

Undefeated heading into match with Holly Holm

Supposed to win – most matches she’d win in a matter of seconds

Talking serious trash coming into this round

Holm lasted whole first round – not what everyone expected

Rhonda was knocked out in beginning of second round, Holly won, when Rhonda woke up, she wondered, “What just happened?”

Emotionally it messed with her, she even said she contemplated suicide

Life is like that sometimes, like we just got kicked in the head, left on the mat – nothing like you planned it was going to be

 

UNEXPECTED AND UNPLANNED

Your life may be unfolding completely differently than what you thought it was supposed to be – not the plan

Divorce

Financial difficulties

Career failures

Unexpected deaths of loved ones or other loss

Life landed you in rehab.

 

When we experience difficulties in life, we tend to make it about people

That’s the pressure/conflict that we see

Argumentative spouse

Inappropriate boss or coworker

Person who cuts you off

Draws the “fight” out of us

 

REAL ENEMY - IS A SPIRITUAL ATTACK

Need to know who your real adversary is

Actually a spiritual attack

Primary fight is spiritual – need to face that

You may have a disagreement with your spouse, but your main problem is you have a spiritual enemy working against you

 

2 common “spiritual” mistakes concerning Angels & Devils – two extremes

Thinking they’re everywhere all the time behind everything

Believing they have no play in our life at all 

There is a spiritual battle being waged whether you realize it or not, its happening

 

Ever have a week when you think, that’s unnatural – so much is happening, one thing after another 

May mean you’re under spiritual attack

Get ready especially as you get ready to lead others to Christ

 

We’re primarily spiritual beings

Image bearers of the creator

He breathed his life into you

 

You are not an accident – you were created by the creator

It’s who you are

 

Be prepared – have to know it’s coming, have to know the point

Rules & strategies

Understand the real goals – the end game

 

Paul explains the spiritual battle of life in Ephesians 6

At end of the book of Ephesians, he describes the spiritual battle (Eph 6)

At beginning of the book of Epheisans, he describes the whole point of life 

Before we engage in the battle, he wants us to know the goal & understand the strategy of the battle (Eph. 2)

Knowing the background is critical to understanding the reality

 

WHAT’S THE POINT TO LIFE?

God has rescued us – foundational

There is nothing you can do to save yourself

You are saved from death, to life, through Christ

 

You’re at war with yourself

Selfish desire, sinful nature, you want what you want, you’re fighting for your own way – everyone has this

On our own, we are not alive

 

We are most miserable & discontented when life is all about us

 

Slave to your desires

Example of Anger – what starts as release of emotion becomes a tendency, a well worn path when done over and over

Becomes your reputation, what you’re known for

You thought you were in control, but opposite

Leads to death – your desires, if you are not connected to God, always lead to death

Sin promises life but leads to death

 

Spirit life

Brings you back to life again

Not like zombies who are half dead

 

Season of Spring, bringing everything back to life

Being made new – the hope of God coming into you

Made alive with Christ – “God takes your winter, and gives you His Spring.”

 

Salvation opportunity – Gospel Presentation

If you’ve never experienced this in your heart, in your Spirit, today can be a game changer for you

You can cross over from death to life by faith

Say, God I believe, Jesus I believe, I believe you are who you say you are

 

Resurrection life – best deal you could ever make

The great exchange:

God takes our failure and gives us His success;

He takes our imperfection and gives us His perfection,

He takes our weakness and gives us His strength

 

“Christianity” may have looked different to you growing up

Didn't look like grace

Looked a lot like works – trying to earn your way to God

Do “right” things so God would like me, be pleased with me, forgive me

 

Paul says it’s completely different (Eph. 2-8:9 – not what you do to get to God, it’s what God does & has done to get to you)

God gives you his grace - It come through Jesus and His resurrection.

 

YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THE WHOLE MESSAGE - YOU HAVE ALREADY WON

 

Understand whole message – the fight starts with understanding the battle is already won

Jesus overcame death & hell so that you can experience life

Not so you have to aimlessly struggle and beat the air

Saved through the perfection of Jesus

 

If you’ll get this – let this sink into your heart – your whole walk with God will change

God isn’t mad at you he’s mad for you – he wants you to win but he knows you can never win on your own so he came to earth in the form of man - that man was Christ Jesus.

 

We fight not to get to God, but because God has fought to get to us

Christianity should be marked by joy

Marked by life, by a passion, not obligation

Victory is already won

 

Example from Rocky movie series:

“I can’t win, I just want to go the distance. Then I’ll feel like I’m not just some bum from the neighborhood.”

Is that a picture of us? – we feel we have to prove ourselves to so many – parents, spouses, kids, friends (neighborhoods)

God says there’s no need to prove anything – you are a bum but he loves bums. And he takes bums and makes them alive

 

There’s NOTHING LEFT TO PROVE!

HOW DO WE FIGHT?

You can know…God loves you

You Can Know…He redeems us

You Can Know…Championship belt is already in our closet – battle is already won

 

Fight from a point of Victory

That knowledge gives you confidence to fight, to say you are more than a conqueror, an overcomer

You can fight because the battle has already been won

 

WE HAVE A CHAMPION IN OUR CORNER - FIGHTING FOR US.

You must understand who has stepped in to fight for you.