There’s a time for everything: a time to win, a time to lose, a time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to run, and a time to fight. That could mean fighting off a bully, fighting for something you believe in, or even fighting your own self and the things you tell yourself about yourself.
In the movie Back to the Future II, the hero Marty McFly does his best to do right and avoid fighting his enemy, the trouble-maker Biff. He has his limits, though, and when Biff hollers at him while he’s walking away from a confrontation, “What are you…chicken?” Marty stops dead in his tracks, steely determination in his eyes. He says quietly, “Nobody calls me ‘chicken‘” and turns to teach Biff a lesson.
What triggers you to that tipping point, to when you’re ready to fight? Most of the time I believe in solving things as peacefully as possible, but when it comes to the enemy of my soul, there’s going to be a battle. And, when it comes to the enemy picking on the ones I love, get ready to rumble!
I recently discovered an album by artist Ellie Holcomb called Red Sea Road. (so many great songs, love the lyrics) In her song “Fighting Words” she shares openly about the negative self-talk that happens inside, even self-hate, the lies the enemy spews and how she fights back:
I will fight the lies with the truth
Keep my eyes fixed on You
I will sing the truth into the dark
I will use my fighting words¹
As I listened, I found myself wishing she revealed specifically what her fighting words are. You know so I could use them, too! I realized I need to figure out my own fighting words to counter when the devil tries to pull me down. Where would I find them?
I need some help because I’ve never been great at comebacks, not being a very quick thinker in the spur of the moment:
“Oh yeah?! Well…you’re a meany-head!”
Like I said, I need help.
Jesus used the Scriptures to deflect Satan’s taunts so that’s good enough for me.
God’s Word has the mysterious and wonderful ability to change, empower and strengthen me. When I pray the actual words of the Bible, making it personal, I feel the words carry more weight. I mean, they’re the words of GOD. How could be there be any better?
God’s Word also reminds me how big and powerful my Father is and how puny anyone is who contends with Him or any of his children.
I decided to actually look verses up and write down a list of my fighting words, so I’ll be prepared. I can memorize them and fight back with God’s truth. The devil has no chance.
Here are a few of the barbs the enemy throws at me:
You will never learn. You’re so unfaithful and fickle. God is disappointed in you. You should be doing more for Him. Other believers are more faithful and committed than you. Might as well give up on those bigger dreams because this is it. God’s not listening. God’s not even there. You’ve failed so many times. Look at all the hypocrites, including you. How can you still believe?
Harsh, yes, but he is not known for being kind or gentle.
The first punch thrown is from Jesus, who reminds me of my enemy’s nature:
“He has always hated the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:8
That’s a big one – if we could remember that, the devil’s flaming arrows would fizzle out before they even reach us. The problem is that he is subtle and persistent – relentless is more like it.
These verses are just some that help me keep focus and stand in my God-given identity: (I like to personalize them when I pray)
So now there is no condemnation for me because I belong to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
…I belong to Christ so I’ve become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! II Corinthians 5:17
See how very much our Father loves me, for he calls me his child, and that is what I am! I John 3:1
Here’s a right hook!
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse me,
nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish me for all my sins;
he does not deal harshly with me, as I deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed my sins as far from me
as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:8-12
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your care, Father. And you said even the very hairs of my head are all numbered. So I won’t be afraid; you said I’m worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
and this one is one of the most precious promises ever and a knock-out blow:
If You’re on my side, God, can anyone be against me? You didn’t keep back Your own Son but gave him for me. If You did this, won’t You freely give me everything else? If You say Your chosen ones are acceptable to You, can anyone bring charges against them? Or can anyone condemn them? No indeed! Christ died and was raised to life, and now he is at Your right side, speaking to You for me. Can anything separate me from Your love? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death? …
In everything, I have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves me. I am sure that nothing can separate me from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate me from God’s love for me in Christ Jesus my Lord!
Now those are some fighting words!
What are some of yours?
Father God, thank you for Your Word. When I start praying Your Word, I’m drawn to my knees in worship, remembering who You are, what You’ve done, how You love, the mercy You show. You are my rock and shield, my Protector, my Foundation, my Savior, my Victory, my life, my love, my Papa. Let me follow Your example, Jesus. I’ll use Your fighting words.