"Fight with the keys and you cannot be stopped."
First Published September 1976
The Devil is out to stop each Christian the best he can. He can't get us back once we're saved, because we can't lose our salvation; we are the Lord's forever. The battle for our souls is won, and it's a permanent victory. (John 6:37; 10:28-29) We will never have to fight that battle again. That was a battle we couldn't have possibly won ourselves. Jesus won it for us when He suffered and bled and died on the cross to save us. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; 5:8)
Although the Devil can't get us back, he can still give us a lot of trouble. He will especially do all he can to try to keep us from serving God and winning others into the Lord's kingdom. Every person won to Christ is a threat to the Devil. Every Christian is potentially capable of winning hundreds of others away from him, so the Devil tries to destroy his or her usefulness to the Lord. He tries to destroy Christians through accidents or sickness or any way he can. He can't destroy their spirits any longer because they're saved, but he can sure try to give them a lot of other troubles.
In the face of such opposition, some Christians ask, "Well, what did receiving Jesus do for me, anyway? I'm having these horrible trials now!" Christians who complain like that need to stop and think about what Jesus has done for them. They're saved; that's the main thing. They've got eternal life; they're not going to Hell; they don't have to worry about death anymore. Even if they die, He's going to take care of them. Jesus said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5), and, "I am with you alway[s], even unto the end of the world."(Matthew 28:20 KJV)
Maybe they don't want to go through all these trials and tribulations just for themselves, but shouldn't they be willing to fight for the sake of others? Jesus won the battle for their eternal happiness. He fought and suffered for their salvation, and now He wants them to be willing to fight and suffer some, if necessary, to save others.
Even if they have to make some sacrifices, the Lord's going to repay them a hundred times over in this life. (Mark 10:30) They can also have peace of mind, contentment of heart, and a feeling of genuine accomplishment for all they do for the Lord. (Isaiah 26:3; John 14:27; Romans 5:1; Philippians 4:7)
They have the greatest power in the universe-God Himself-on their side. They can rest assured that no matter what happens, they're going to win in the long run. Regardless of how difficult the day-to-day battles may be or how heavy the fighting may get, they're going to win the overall war. The final victory is already theirs. They cannot lose because they're on the winning side!
They need to keep their eyes ahead on the eternal goal, as is brought out in the "faith" chapter, Hebrews 11: "By faith, by faith, by faith..." It says that all the great patriarchs of the Bible looked forward, through the eyes of faith. They weren't satisfied with being citizens of this world; they looked for a heavenly country, a heavenly city, made by the Lord. They were willing to go through trials and tribulations and be strangers and pilgrims here-people without a country-because they knew they had one coming and they knew it was worth fighting, living, suffering, and sometimes even dying for. (Hebrews 11:13-16)
Paul wrote, "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18) So although there are battles, the eternal rewards for fighting those battles are worth paying a price for, worth sacrificing for.
Even the rewards received along the way for serving Jesus make it worth the fight. What soldier on earth gets paid a hundred times everything he gives up to join the army? That's what the Lord promises His soldiers here and now. All this and Heaven too. (Mark 10:30) Our sufferings aren't even worthy to be compared with the blessings that we already have, much less the glory we're going to enjoy.
Christians who are besieged with problems should count their blessings and think about all these positive things, not the negative-the doubts, fears, woes, troubles, and afflictions the Devil sends their way.
Christians need to realize that there's a war going on-a war of the worlds between the Devil's dominion and the kingdom of God-and they need to be prepared to fight in that war. It's a fight! After all, that's what armies are for-to fight battles. They're on the winning side, but they've still got to fight!
Christians who start doing something for the Lord and then complain about some of the hardships sound like the athlete who joined a sports team and then moaned, "Well, now that I've joined the team, why do I have to train? Why do I have to go through these tests and trials? I thought I was appointed to win!" That's not the way it works. You've got to earn your laurels in this fight. His Word says, "Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."(2 Timothy 2:3)
The battles will often rage hot and heavy until the Devil sees that he can't stop you, and then he usually gives up for a while and tries something else. The Bible says, "Resist the Devil and he will flee from you," (James 4:7) and, "When the Enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him."(Isaiah 59:19)
Serving the Lord is often a struggle, but we learn to like it because we know we're on the right side, the winning side, and we've got the right Commander, Jesus, who we're proud of and happy to live for and serve. We like the battle, just as an athlete likes the athletic trial. We like to fight the Devil and defeat him in the never-ending battle for the souls of men. We like the fight, the excitement, and the exhilaration of victory on the battlefront. Every time we win a soul to the Lord, that's another victory, another battle won.
The people that fight almost to victory and then complain and quit just before the victory is won never get to enjoy it. They go through so much suffering and hardship, and then miss the victory. Talk about losers! Those who quit just short of victory are the real losers. They lose so many benefits and blessings and rewards. The Lord says, "Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."(Revelation 2:10)
There's no crown without a cross, no testimony without a test, no triumph without a trial, no victory without a battle.
May God raise up soldiers who like to fight for the Lord with the weapon of His Word, who enjoy defeating the Devil, who know they can't lose-conquering heroes who like to live and fight and sacrifice for Jesus and their brethren and the truth! That kind of soldier can't be conquered. Even if he dies fighting, he can't lose, because he'll get a crown of glory!
Edited by Almondtree Productions