Posted by: rcottrill | November 5, 2014

The Fight Is On

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Words: Lelia Naylor Morris (b. Apr. 15, 1862; d. July 23, 1929)
Music: Lelia Naylor Morris

Wordwise Hymns (Lelia Morris)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: The author of many fine gospel songs, Mrs. Morris published this one in 1905. It’s one of a few songs whose refrain is longer than the stanzas (in this case, twice as long!). The tune–which she supplied–is certainly a rousing one, with a definite military ring that suits the text.

The subject of spiritual warfare is much in evidence in the New Testament. In this world, Christians live and work on enemy territory. Arrayed against us are not only human beings who reject God and rebel against His Word and will, but also a host of evil spirits. Fallen angels, Satan and his host of demons, will do all in their power to defeat God’s plan and purpose.

As with the physical realm, with its germs and viruses, it is what we can’t see that is often the most difficult and dangerous.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

“Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor. 10:3-5).

Paul describes Epaphroditus to the Philippian church as “my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier” (Phil. 2:25). In Philemon, he refers to “Archippus our fellow soldier” (Phm. 1:2). The people of God are in a battle together, and we can encourage and exhort one another in the fight.

CH-1) The fight is on, the trumpet sound is ringing out,
The cry “To arms!” is heard afar and near;
The Lord of hosts is marching on to victory,
The triumph of the Christ will soon appear.

The fight is on, O Christian soldier,
And face to face in stern array,
With armour gleaming, and colours streaming,
The right and wrong engage today!
The fight is on, but be not weary;
Be strong, and in His might hold fast;
If God be for us, His banner o’er us,
We’ll sing the victor’s song at last!

If we are to “sing the victor’s song at last,” we need God’s power and equipping. We are to be “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10), “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power” (Col. 1:11). This is the enabling God gives through faith-filled prayer (Eph. 6:18; Col. 1:9-11; Heb. 4:15-16). Then, there is the armour provided for our protection, and the weapon in our hand, the Word of God.

“Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:13-17).

For a detailed explanation of these pieces of equipment, see my article on Christian Armour.

To Timothy, Paul writes of the discipline required of one enlisted in the Lord’s army: “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier” (II Tim. 2:3-4). Timothy is exhorted also to “Wage the good warfare” (I Tim. 1:18), and “Fight the good fight of [the] faith” (I Tim. 6:12). At the end of his life, this was something Paul could say he had done (II Tim. 4:7).

CH-2) The fight is on, arouse, ye soldiers brave and true!
Jehovah leads, and victory will assure;
Go buckle on the armour God has given you,
And in His strength unto the end endure.

CH-3) The Lord is leading on to certain victory;
The bow of promise spans the eastern sky;
His glorious name in every land shall honoured be;
The morn will break, the dawn of peace is nigh.

1) What differences can you think of between physical wars and our spiritual warfare?

2) What are some of the strategies of the enemy, and how are we to triumph over them?

Wordwise Hymns (Lelia Morris)
The Cyber Hymnal


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