Soldiers of Christ (Part 4)

We've already noted five important qualities of a good fighter:

  1. A good fighter is well managed.
  2. A good fighter trains fervently.
  3. A good fighter has endurance.
  4. A good fighter must develop an offense.
  5. A good fighter must strengthen his defense.

Let us consider five more at this time:

6. A good fighter must be MENTALLY PREPARED.
Every fighter needs hours of solitude and some time to think things through. Plans must be firmly made in his own mind. These are precious moments that often determine the margin of victory or defeat. The Bible tells Christians to meditate in study and prayer as we contemplate the struggle of life (cf. Phil. 4:8; II Tim. 2:15). Hours alone with God can give us an amazing reserve of strength and help us to be mentally prepared for any situation that may arise.

7. A good fighter must be able to TAKE BLOWS.
Many boxers have tremendous punches, but they never make it big because they just cannot take punishment (they have "glass jaws," so to speak). One or two heavy hits from an opponent takes them right out of the contest. Jesus taught that some who receive the word of God are similar. As soon as "tribulation or persecution arises" they fade away (Mark 4:17). Realize that it takes great "heart" to get up off the canvas in a physical fight as well as a spiritual one.

8. A good fighter must NOT THROW THE FIGHT.
Sadly, many professional matches have been "fixed." A boxer simply agrees to "sell out" for a sum of money. His greed means more to him than honesty and a good name. Members of the church often allow "the cares, riches, and pleasures of life" to mar their record, too (Luke 8:14). Remember Judas Iscariot?

9. A good fighter must FIGHT TO WIN.
We should never enter the ring with the thought of being a good loser. No champion ever plans to be defeated. There is no substitute for victory. There is no virtue in spending eternity in hell as a "good loser." When we put on the gloves against Satan, let us wind up and hit him right on the chin with an uppercut that pops like dynamite! That may sound humorous on one level, but there's a truthfulness to it! Romans 1:16 mentions that the gospel is God's power (dynamite) to save us!

"Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices" (II Cor. 2:7). "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (I Pet. 5:8). We can never underestimate an opponent, especially one as dangerous as the devil. It's easy to think that we've conquered Satan and then we become overconfident and careless. We must never let our guard down. The devil is more powerful than many people think. We must "walk carefully, not as fools but as wise" (Eph. 5:15). Ask yourself these questions: "What kind of soldier am I in the Lord's army? What is my value in His service? Am I capable of wielding the sword of the Spirit in an acceptable manner? Will I serve in such a way that I can one day lay down my armor at Jesus' feet and reign forever with Him?

Did you honestly ask yourself those questions? Are you satisfied? I hope not. We must never be satisfied with ourselves as soldiers because we can and should always be improving. We must know the word of God for it is our only weapon. We must follow our perfect commander. We must not go looking for a vacation spiritually. We must not be blind to the danger our enemy poses to us all. We must be well-trained and develop and strengthen our offense. We must train fervently, build up endurance, and fight to win. We must not throw the fight by getting wrapped up in the cares of the world.

But ultimately, the greatest reason for serving the Lord fully and energetically is to gratefully respond to His matchless love! Because of what we owe, it ought to be easy to give our best to the Master. Such wondrous love "compels us" and leaves us with no choice but to be about our Father's business here upon the earth (II Cor. 5:14). "We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19). In response to the riches of His grace we shall "live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age" (Titus 2:12).

Christians, let us wisely and joyously give ourselves to Him, for no one else has the words of eternal life (cf. II Cor. 8:5; John 6:68).

Special thanks goes to the late Johnny Ramsey, a tremendous preacher of the gospel of Christ, from whom the material in the series was borrowed.