2 Timothy 4:6-8: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
I played a lot of Baseball in my youth. From age 10 until 18 my Spring’s and Summer’s were taken up with Baseball. I loved the battle between myself, as the batter, and the pitcher that stood on the mound. One thing that my Father and my coaches taught me was to never take a called third strike if possible. To always try to “Go Down Swinging”. Obviously, there is a better chance of hitting the ball if you are swinging at it than not swinging at all.
Did I always do that? No! But more times than not, in Baseball vernacular, I was taking a hack at it. I could walk away and say at least I went down swinging. Well, I am in my late 40’s now and that term means something totally different to me. As I study scripture the Apostle Paul uses references many times about being in a battle or competing.
In Ephesians 6 verses 10-20 he talks about putting on the full Armor of God because we are in warfare not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers of darkness and forces of evil in heavenly places. As a “Follower of Jesus Christ” Satan wants to do anything that will keep us discouraged or ruin our testimony or living out a life that is totally surrendered to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Temptations come our way daily or maybe even hourly that can keep us side tracked from the task at hand.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 the Apostle Paul refers to running a race in a way that you may obtain a prize that is imperishable. In the verses leading up to 24 – 27 Paul speaks of becoming all things to all people that he may win some to Jesus Christ. He says I do it all for the sake of the Gospel.
Other verses to look at are: Hebrews 12:1-2, Philippians 2:16, Philippians 3:12-14. We
are in a battle for our purity, our families and the souls of people. Jesus himself told us that if you love me you will keep my commandments. In the Gospel of John Chapter 21, when Jesus is restoring Peter after having denied Jesus three times, Jesus asks Peter to “Feed his Sheep” and that is a picture of our call also.
Are we battling for our Marriages, for our children’s souls and for the souls of lost people that we are in front of every day? I am challenged by the verses listed above. Just as when I was playing ball of making sure I would “Go Down Swinging”. I am making sure I am “Going Down Swinging” for the Glory of God and for the sake of the Gospel.
So! Are you “Going to go down swinging”?
Dale A. Jennings