One of the realities of the Christian life is that there is a constant battle that rages around us all hours of the day and night—a battle of which most of us remain unaware. It’s a battle for the souls of men and women and for dominion on earth. One of the things I have begun to notice is that not only do we as believers have a responsibility to get up and participate in the fight, but we were also created for a fight. War is in the blood of the believer.
We were created to fight, so we will fight with something or someone whether intentionally or unintentionally. Consequently, because we were created to fight, when we neglect the war that we were born to fight in and win, we begin to fight with something or someone we were not created to fight with—which most of the time turns out to be each other.
If we refuse to rise up and join the ranks of the armies of God and take part in the battle we were born to fight, we will inevitably begin to fight battles we were never intended to fight. The part of our new nature in Christ that is born for conflict will begin to be exercised in conflict with other believers if we are not actively using this gift for its intended purpose, which is to destroy the works of the Devil.
If we refuse to join the battle for the souls of mankind and for the dominion that Christ’s blood on the Cross bought back for us, we do not simply fight with nothing, we instead begin to fight the wrong thing. We see this with the children of Israel when they were about to enter the Promise Land. They refused to rise up, join the fight, and believe God. So instead of fighting and winning the battle and possessing the land that God had already promised them, they became complainers, arguers, and backbiters.
I’ve noticed that when I am actively participating in the fight, my propensity to be a complainer, a gossiper, or a person who causes disunity almost completely disappears. But when I sit on my behind and am not exercising the fight that is inside me because of my new nature in Christ, I’ve noticed that instead of being a force for unity, this fight that the Holy Spirit has placed within me becomes a force for divisiveness. When we do not join the battle we were created to fight, we begin to fight amongst ourselves. So I encourage you in this: join the fight.
In addition, there is a myth that I want to dispel in regard to this battle. There is a phrase in popular culture that I hear quoted quite often but is entirely untrue. It’s the saying: “I’m a lover… not a fighter.” The more I fall in love with Jesus, the more I realize how false such a saying is.
The greatest lovers—whether we are talking about biblical history, secular history, or even mythology—are also the greatest fighters. Without love, there is nothing for which to fight. Whether it’s love of country, romantic love, or love of glory and fame, no one has ever been a great warrior without an equally great love. Simply said, people fight for what they love.
1 John 4:8 says, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” On top of that, Daniel 11:32 tells us that, “Those who know their God will display strength and perform great exploits.” What the “lover not a fighter” myth has led many to believe is that loving and fighting are mutually exclusive. Instead, quite the contrary is true. The more we fall in love with Jesus and gain revelation and experience of His heart, the more vehemently our passion to fight becomes. Someone who is unwilling to fight is not a lover, but a passive bystander.
So if you are afraid to fight because you believe it will ruin the tenderness of your love for Jesus, realize that it’s this tender love that enables you to fight. And the same is true for anyone who fears exchanging their passion to fight with a passionate love for Jesus. You don’t exchange a passion to fight for passionate love—instead, you can’t truly have one without the other.