Monday, October 22, 2012

What is The Relentless Fight?

"Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you..." - 1 Corinthians 15:1 (ESV)

You've just failed. You're discouraged and feeling guilt and shame wash over you.

As you begin to retrace your steps, you realize (so obviously) how you made the same mistakes and wound up back in the same cesspool of your same besetting sin. So frustrating!

So you resolve to fight... "Yeah, I'm gonna fight. Fight this sin. Fight it HARDER. More accountability, more Scripture, more prayer, more books and sermons and seminars and conferences. More discipline! I'm just too weak, right? Need to be sober-minded, need to be more vigilant, need more boundaries or protection or something."

Let me say this as gently as I can: You're fighting the wrong battle, Christian.

All that guilt, all that shame, all that anger and frustration is motivating you to fight your sin harder. And sure, fighting sin is good, but it is SECONDARY. If you expend your energies fighting your sin, you will wear yourself out. You will lose energy and motivation long before you see your sin dead at your feet. It's immensely difficult to pick the sword back up and run into battle when your guilt and shame and discouragement are so overwhelming.

Here's the primary battle: Fighting to remember the Gospel. 

That is FIRST. That's the most important fight. That's the only one that really matters in the end. The fight to remember the gospel: That's the larger war. Fighting the sin? Heck, that's just the little battle skirmishes here and there. They come, they go. But remembering the GOSPEL is the crucial victory that will turn the tide.

Here's what it practically looks like: Let your guilt DRIVE you to the cross to receive the forgiveness that comes through Christ's blood (Ephesians 1:7). Let your shame DRIVE you to the cross to receive the cleansing and washing that comes through Christ's blood (1 John 1:7, Revelation 7:14). Run back to the HUGE promises that are found in Scripture about your new identity (2 Corinthians 5:17), about your adoption by grace as a son (Ephesians 1:5), about how God WILL bring about your sanctification (Philippians 1:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:24), and about how God's grace super-abounds greater than your sin (Romans 5:20). Repeat these truths back to yourself. Scream them out loud!! Claim them with defiance. Call a brother or sister and beg them to preach the gospel of salvation for sinners to your sinful heart! Pray that God restores to you the joy of your salvation! (Psalm 51:12) Fight this battle relentlessly, with endurance and passion and everything in you. Fight like heaven.

So what is The Relentless Fight? It's the never-ending, hardcore, raging battle for REMEMBERING THE GOSPEL. Once the gospel has been secured, the encouragement and endurance and motivation to keep fighting will return to you, but this time with all the POWER and JOY of the Cross fueling it. It's primarily a fight to believe the gospel. Not to fight the sin. That's why the motto and anthem of The Relentless Fight is: Remember the Gospel, Keep Fighting.

Remember the Gospel brothers and sisters,
The Relentless Fight