When is a Fight Worth Fighting?

Jim and I sat watching the hearing for Judge Kavanaugh and were amazed at the hostility displayed on our television screen. Whatever your politics are, I think we could all agree that the hearing was a public shaming of most involved. Who deserved to feel ashamed? Time will likely answer that question, if all of us will be conscientious enough to ask.

I kept looking at the stoic face of Kavanaugh’s wife and wondered how she felt about the fight. Would she have encouraged her husband to enter this battle if she had been aware of the wounds it would inflict? What about all the other potential candidates in the future? Will their spouses and families be willing to engage in this type of fight? One thing has been proven through these past few weeks: a fight will ensue, regardless of the person nominated.

But, a fight isn’t always something to be avoided. If you watched the movie Amazing Grace, you saw the very honest and well-portrayed battles that took place in England’s government over the issue of slavery. That battle led the world to think differently about the nature of a person’s rights to freedom. Our country fought the same battle; only it was a war of bullets and words.

When is a fight worth fighting? It depends, of course, on the reason for the fight. William Wilberforce led the fight against slavery in his country, and the impact on his life and health is well-documented. Abraham Lincoln was president during the Civil War and paid the ultimate price, along with thousands of others. But, each man also understood they had fulfilled a high calling on their lives.

I was speaking last Sunday about David and Goliath. David was the youngest of Jesse’s seven sons. Jesse sent David to the front lines of the battlefield, knowing that the powerful Philistine army was ready to battle with Israel. David was sent to take food to his brothers and the commanders of the army. Jesse asked his youngest son to find his brothers and bring back word of them. When David arrived, the army was heading into battle, so he ran to the front lines to look for his brothers. That’s when he overheard Goliath shouting his threats.

It was a common way to do war during this time. Rather than entire armies fighting and everyone suffering large numbers of casualties, it was often agreeable to have one representative from each side fight to determine which army would be considered victorious. That was the preference of the Philistines—they had Goliath! The Israelites were “dismayed” by the nine-foot giant, and not one of those soldiers had volunteered for the fight until a young man named David showed up, bringing food to his brothers.

David looked at Goliath and saw him as an “uncircumcised Philistine” who had come to do battle with the “armies of the Living God.” David wasn’t there to fight a giant man; he was there to fight for his giant God. And we all know how the story ends. David saw Goliath as a man worth fighting because he represented a country that stood against his God. David had been anointed by God’s Holy Spirit and knew the battle was his to fight, and win. So, he grabbed his slingshot and ran to face the giant.
When is a battle worth fighting? When God calls you to the fight. But, the story of David gives us a few guidelines:

• What is the larger picture? Is there a cause with a Kingdom purpose that is the motivation, or is it something less? David wasn’t fighting Goliath; he was fighting         so that all those watching would know the strength of his God.
• Did you go looking for the fight, or did God lead you to the battlefield? David went to bring food and check on his brothers, but God had another plan.
• Will you listen to others’ advice and recommendations or God’s? David left Saul’s armor behind and used his slingshot.
• Finally, trust God’s larger purpose for the battle. David’s reputation with Goliath caused him years of suffering with Saul but eventually led to him being accepted by Israel as their king.

I wish I could send the Kavanaugh family some encouragement right now. I’m assuming the allegations are false. I know that is what I want to believe. I wonder if this is his “David and Goliath” moment. If it is, then I would encourage him to face the giant, with God’s strength and purpose. It really doesn’t matter what the opposite party throws his way if God has called him to the battle and supplied him with one solid Rock.

God will call most of us to face a fight or two in our lives that seems gigantic in scope. The key to fighting for God is to be Spirit-led so that we can know when we are fighting with God, in a battle He has called us to win. David slew the giant but faced a great deal of suffering at the hands of Saul as a result. It’s easy to think that David’s victory was sweet—if you don’t read the next several chapters.

Most fights leave scars, but that doesn’t mean the fight wasn’t worth fighting. Praying for strength is important. Praying for the wisdom to know if the battle is yours is a must. God equips the called unless they call themselves into the fight. William Wilberforce, Abraham Lincoln, and King David would never say that fighting for God was easy or enjoyable—but each would probably say the victory was worth the scars.

Whatever your politics, will you pray that God’s name will be glorified as a result of the fight? I think all of us would like to see our Lord win this battle.