Fighting Back

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Life is an uphill battle, is it not? Occasionally, it gets steep!

Sometimes it works to sit on the sidelines and watch the world go by, especially when those battles don't benefit anyone in the end. Many of us were brought up, and correctly so I'd say, to not engage in these battles. But what about those instances where "somebody needs to do something"?

I'll leave politics and war out of this discussion altogether. 2 Cor 7:5 addresses fights between people because of arguments. Eph 6:12 & Jude 1:3 discuss our fighting to protect our soul from evil spiritual forces, and we see the conflict between angels and demons talked about in Rev 12:7. Then, we fight against our fleshly nature 2 Tim 4:7; 1 Tim 6:12. So, fighting is not against God's will, it can be noble and good and we are even commanded to fight in certain ways. Certainly, God fights on behalf of His people. In Isaiah 42:13, even God is described as "a warrior" who will "triumph over His enemies".

We are told "if it is possible, as far as it depends on [us], to live at peace with everyone..." (Rom 12:18) In my opinion, we (Christianity in general) have done that for the most part. Perhaps we have done so well that we have allowed others to trample us under their feet. Were we supposed to let that happen, or should we have fought back? Should we have protested physically when God was taken out of our schools? Look at the result.

But where exactly is that "line in the sand" that we don't cross? Where was that line on the day Jesus entered the Temple and overturned the money changer’s tables, and drove them out of the place, as opposed to nicely asking them to move somewhere else and likely being told 'no'? We know Christ didn't cross the line because Christ did not sin. So certainly, His actions were appropriate. How do we know when we need to take stronger action? When is it right to put some action behind our words, and how do we go about it?

Fighting for righteous, holiness and against sin and evil are certainly commendable, and the numerous comparisons of our spiritual fight to that of a soldier don't go unnoticed in scripture, as occasionally that fighting may even require physical engagement. Surely none of us would argue that we should fight physically, for instance, to defend our families from an intruder in our home. While that's not really the type of fighting we are talking about, evil is coming into our homes all the time. Are we fighting to protect our families? Are we standing up for righteousness in the literal face of evil?

We are called to fight, and we are even told what our tools for battle are (Eph 6:10-17). God would like for us to avoid physical interaction if at all possible, and we can certainly pick our battles and do that. But there comes a time, when we can't close our eyes, put our fingers in our ears, and hope it all be OK. No, some of those times, the problem is still in front of us when we re-open our eyes and unplug our ears. So God gives us defensive weapons of war for the most part, yet He gives us one weapon that is both defensive and offensive, He gives us His Word. This is our sword. This is what we attack our enemies with, and if there comes a time and place for action and we have to turn over a table or two, let us do it with love and for the saving of souls.

Paul, after giving a long list of things we face in life from people we may face to false doctrine, temptation and other forms of evil, tells us to " Fight the good fight of faith..." (1 Tim 6:10) We don't have to fear or worry. "If the LORD is with us, who can be against us?" (Rom 8:31) "The LORD is my helper..." (Heb 13:5-6). And like the children of old, "the battle belongs to the Lord", (2 Chron 20...)