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Taking hold of the good fight

I’m going through a time of change. This weekend, I’m moving in with a couple of good friends. It’s a big deal for me. Late-­bloomer that I am, this will be my first real move. It’s one of those times when everything seems overwhelming and a little scary, but also new and exciting. As things fall into place, the trepidation gives way to eagerness, and it’s hard not get too carried away.

Knowing I’ll be living with two close friends, and within an even larger community of great people, I have thought of numerous things this opportunity will allow us to do and experience, and that list continues to grow. I know for a fact that we will not have time for all of it, but it’s still fun to imagine trying. We’re all pretty nerdy, and if there’s one thing that excites nerds more than the things they’re nerdy about, it’s “nerding out” with other nerds.

As excited as I am about that, I have to wrestle with it. At the same time I think about how much fun we could be having, I am also aware of the real point to this whole endeavor: deeper discipleship and accountability. There were some financial reasons, too, but ultimately, we agreed that this would be good for us spiritually, providing grounds for us to dig deeper into one another, give encouragement and good advice, and most importantly, lead each other closer to Jesus. That’s not going to be easy. It will take a constant shift of priorities, and a perpetually reoccurring decision to choose what’s really important over the things that aren’t.

We’re all in this position. Every day, with every moment of conscious thought, we are making decisions about what to do, what to think, how to behave. We don’t just make decisions about big things, but about small, daily matters as well. We are faced with so many choices, so many opportunities, so many branching paths that will determine the course of our lives, and when it comes to following Jesus, He should be a major factor in most every choice.

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” ­1 Timothy 6:12

It will be a fight. It will be a struggle. It will be downright hard to keep Jesus at the forefront, but it will be worth it. Anything else we choose over Him will inevitably disappoint, but how can we ever be let down by the One whose worth is immeasurable?

We are often creatures of passivity, going through our daily routines without considering the God who gave us life. We look inward without looking upward. I surprise myself sometimes by realizing how long I stewed on a thought or decision without thinking, “What does God have to say about this?” It doesn’t make sense.

Some of us lived our lives without Him long enough already­ after making the decision to follow Christ, why do we still fall into that pattern?

“Taking hold” means to make an active decision. We have to choose to take hold of the Gospel, to fight for making Christ Lord of our lives instead of the latest idol. We sieze it like the steering wheel of a car during a skid, where holding on is our lifeline, and letting go would be disastrous. Decide to sieze the Gospel. Decide to fight the good fight of faith. And when you’ve decided that, get ready to decide it again, because tomorrow is a new fight.

The Good News is that He’s right there with us.

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