Fight The Good Fight

shutterstock_96531118“Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia.” 2 Timothy 4:10 NLT

One of the most fascinating cities I have had the privilege of visiting is the city of Rome, Italy. In Rome, out of sight, underground, are the remains of what was called the Mammertine Prison. The prison was literally carved out of stone, with no windows. It was in this very prison that the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to Timothy and recalled a man named Demas.

Demas was formally one of Paul’s most trusted associates. He was once on fire for God, burning with a radiant love for Jesus. But somehow Demas took a wrong turn. The tentacles of this world had slowly but firmly wrapped themselves around the heart of this young man. I believe both God and Paul had great plans for Demas. My challenge today is to those who may be wavering in their walk with Jesus; and my encouragement is to stay in the battle, don’t give up and keep fighting the good fight of your faith.

The church has a term for what happened to Demas in the above passage: he became a backslider. But why do faithful Christians begin to backslide in the first place? Why do some of the most faithful followers grow weary of the work of God? I believe one of the most common reasons is that they become enticed with the lies of this world. Success, wealth, pleasure, and love become more attractive than Jesus; and when that happens, the slow fade begins. Backsliding does not occur overnight. It’s a process of small compromises that “don’t seem like a big deal” at the time.

So what do you do if you find yourself beginning to love the world’s pleasures more than your prayers? What do you do when you begin to love a person more than Jesus? You should be alarmed and be on guard. A child of God can never lose his salvation, but he can lose his effectiveness and witness for the Kingdom. This is exactly what happened to Demas, and this is the devil’s goal for every child of God. Be on guard; the enemy’s lot in life is to kill, steal, and utterly destroy. If you are beginning to backslide, get back in the Word of God. Stay involved in the church. Pray for a renewed passion for God to consume you. Fight to stay in love with Jesus. Fight the good fight of your faith.

—James Merritt

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