Is the Christian journey a battle? I often hear people talking about standing up against the sinfulness of the world and fighting for God’s way. And the Bible does use battle language, Paul says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race” (2 Timothy 4:7). Yet the Bible also speaks of following Jesus as being restful and peaceful. Jesus says “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) And we are called to wait on the Lord: “They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
I think the problem here is that what we are fighting is often different than what we think we are fighting. We see the world and Satan as the evil that we are fighting against, but I do not believe that is our battle. God is going to cause his Kingdom to advance, not us. Our job is to align ourselves with God and live into him. I believe this is our true battle, which is why the rest of 1 Timothy 4:7 is important - “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Our true battle is keeping the faith. It is aligning our lives with the supernatural power of God and allowing God to work through us. And the amazing thing is that when we are fully aligned with God, the other battles in life will work out. In fact, we can't lose because “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) So in many ways the Christian journey is a battle, but it is not a battle against the world, it is a battle towards the cross. Matthew 16:24 says “Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”” Let us fight the battle worth fighting, fight to surrender our own way and let God lead, wherever it may take us.