When God’s people are attacked by disease we hear things like “they are fighting or battling cancer” or “dealing with diabetes” or “managing high blood pressure” etc. Because faith comes into question when loved ones are sick, diseased, or dying it is important to spend a great deal of time praying, pondering, and studying what God’s Word says about these subjects. The Lord has been speaking to me about “The Fight”! When all hell seems to break loose in our lives we usually fight back and I believe the Lord is saying make sure we are in the fight of faith because He has fixed that fight and we win! My husband preached a sermon about living in our new day because the fight is fixed. When we know and believe this truth we overwhelmingly conquer according to the Word of God. In “The Fight” there can be no compromise or exception to the rule no matter how impossible our circumstances appear. And when we live in this reality we most certainly will train and fight rightly.
Sickness, disease, joblessness, family problems, debt, and the like can be so all consuming they become our focus keeping us from engaging in “The Fight” of faith. Even people with great faith can get side-tracked by these diversions, spending all their time fighting against these rather than for faith, and are left wondering why they are not experiencing the promised victory. Friends, we cannot expect the fixed outcome (overwhelming victory) when we engage in flesh and blood battles instead of the spiritual fight of faith. The focus of our fight can be identified by answering the question are we fighting to be free from sickness, disease, persecution, and affliction in life or fighting to live and walk by faith in the Spirit of God? Unfortunately, we often treat our faith journey as a “side” battle while we spend most of our time in hand to hand combat against disease. We must wage “The Fight” of faith by being intimately involved in God’s strategies. With God the outcome is win-win every time no matter what we “see” with our eyes. The lines only get blurred when “we” decide what the outcome looks like instead of letting God decide the outcome. In Him, we win!
We cannot diminish the toll sickness and disease places on our bodies, minds, finances, and families but we must consider the greater toll it takes on our faith. The fact is that most of us will deal with some ailment, disease, or pain meant to attack and steal our joy and hinder our walk with Him. The degree of severity and the duration varies for individuals but have no doubt, all of us need to make the decision of which fight we choose to engage. Without taking away or diminishing the respect and honor for those who are or have valiantly fought in faith to beat disease, we must also embrace the Lord’s convincing words to fight the good fight of faith instead of fighting disease. This will require a change of semantics, how we spend our time, and an overhaul of our “thinking”. In other words, we must focus and train our minds, hearts, mouths, and bodies to fight for faith when everything we can see and feel tells us to fight against disease. Friends, God has fixed the spiritual battle and given us everything we need to walk in victory. It is the flesh and blood battle which is not fixed.
The Word clearly states our battle is not against flesh and blood thus we know when engaged in a wrestling match in life we are not to target “people” but “spiritual hosts”. Ephesians 6:10-18 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
The question I hear in my spirit is “But does flesh and blood include disease?” Think about that before moving on too quickly. I don’t believe we are taking this Scripture out of context by saying disease is a spiritual battle not a flesh and blood battle in the same way we do not wrestle with “people” but with the wickedness behind evil actions and behaviors. As brethren, as children of God, we are told to be strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might. This is central to “The Fight”! We are helpless against disease in the flesh and blood battle but we are strong and powerful in the Lord and in the power of His might in the spiritual battle which trumps all flesh and blood battles! It is only as we are strong in Him that we are able to take up the battle which rages around us on this earth. Why not apply the same fight principle in taking up the armor of God to fight the spiritual forces behind the effects and symptoms of disease rather than taking on disease?
Think about this: It is not difficult to place disease in the category of “wiles of the devil” and “fiery darts”! It is not hard to connect disease with “hosts of wickedness” and the “darkness of this age”. And we can easily describe disease as “evil” thereby in need of withstanding and standing in faith! We are given the tools by which to achieve victory. Do you see it? The fight is fixed!
† We stand by girding or binding ourselves with truth because Jesus is Truth!
† We stand by putting on and surrounding ourselves in righteousness because Jesus is Righteousness!
† We stand in His peace which passes all understanding because Jesus is Peace!
† We stand and hold the shield of faith to protect ourselves against the fiery darts (evil words and stinging actions) because Jesus is Faith.
† We stand covered in salvation because Jesus is our Savior!
† We speak only the Word of God because Jesus is the Living Word!
† And we stand always praying and watching, entreating the Spirit of God until the end because Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End!
This is a worthy fight and it is fixed! It is the fight of faith! At times even in spiritual warfare we need to confront people to bring correction or accountability but all the while remembering our fight is not with people but with spiritual forces. When disease attacks we need to confront the physical symptoms and effects all the while remembering we do not wrestle against disease but against spiritual forces. But in both scenarios we need to stay in “The Fight” of faith rather than get engulfed by the flesh and blood battle.
Being strong in the Lord and in the power of His might means we stand and allow Him to fight for us but this does not insinuate we stand back and “let” God fight for us while we do “our” thing, nor do we watch Him while we stand idly by, nor do we “cope or deal” with our issues while He takes on the enemy. Read how Moses encouraged God’s people in Exodus 14:13-14 “And Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.’”
If we stopped there we could conclude all we have to do to win is be unafraid (a lofty task for most Christians today) stand still and see! But then we read God’s response to Moses in verses 15-17 “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen.” Ah, you can see when the Lord fights for us we are still involved. These people needed to promptly obey and follow requiring them to believe and trust God completely, to let the Lord fight for them while going forward themselves. We are still in “The Fight” so we need to expend all our time, energy, and resources training in Christ!
The Word of God repeatedly declares the Lord will fight for us and at the same time we must physically “show up”. In Deuteronomy 20 there is a great story concerning God’s people and the enemy which begins in verse one “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them…” Notice it says “When” not “If” telling us we “will” go out to battle which is why we need to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might and take up the armor of God. Even though the flesh and blood battle, what they “saw”, proved they were outnumbered and overpowered they were not to be afraid because “the Lord your God is with you…”
Because God was with them they were not to let their hearts faint, be afraid, tremble, or be terrified when they saw their enemy and were on the “verge of battle” v.2. Can we agree disease is one of the enemies we go out to do battle? If so we must remember it is a “battle” but “The Fight” is fixed! When we get the “bad news” that our bodies are under attack and the disease is overpowering us and we are on the “verge of battle” for our very lives, do we let our hearts grow faint? Are we afraid? Do we tremble and become terrified?
Hear the Word of the Lord! We are not to grow faint, be afraid, tremble, or be terrified “for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. v.4” Do not miss this – The Lord God has one purpose – to save us! With that in mind and in hand, let us enter “The Fight”! Let us change our vocabulary to stop fighting disease and start fighting for our faith in a God who goes before us (we must follow) fights for us (we must show up) and saves us (we win)!