A Pugnacious Faith

Psalm 112 

4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. 

5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. 

6 For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. 

7 He is not tafraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. 

8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.

Of late, I’ve truly felt pushed face down into the mud with Satan’s boot on the back of my neck. Mud up my nostrils, clogging my throat. When I have that perception of myself in my struggles – beaten down, working hard just to get a breath — I think of myself lifting my hand from that position and giving Satan the finger. It’s not an eloquent vision, nevertheless, I find it encouraging. There is a sense in which that is exactly what any of us with a pugnacious faith are doing when we don’t give in when we feel we are face down in the mud.

I’ve talked over the years with many friends who echo the disciples’ words from John 6 in the midst of their personal struggle.

67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,

In that moment of face-in-the-mud struggle, those friends express that there is nowhere else to go. They choose faith as faith has chosen them. 

I love the vision of me giving Satan the finger. It’s a satisfying use of something that is inappropriate to use anywhere else. He’s the one place I can appropriately aim my anger. Steven Curtis Chapman has a song, “Bring It On,” which seems a taunt at Satan that I’m not willing to make, yet I respect the sentiment. It reflects a pugnacious, fighting faith — not fighting God’s children but the one who seeks to destroy them.

How lovely that the end of Revelations gives us Satan’s sealed fate.

Rev. 20:10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

His doom is sure, and though he attacks us in this life, we hold firm to the knowledge of what is to come. And in so doing, we give him the finger.

9 Responses to A Pugnacious Faith

  1. Anonymous January 31, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    This is so great. Thank you.

  2. Natalie January 31, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    I'm speechless—with a very big smile on my face. And in the mud close by with my own finger raised.

  3. K Crum January 31, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    After I raise my finger, the old song Flood by Jars of Clay always is my cry to God. Thanks for your posts, that are always so “real”.

  4. Pia January 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    Making hay while the sun shines with less than two days before the Super Bowl with some other satisfying visions aimed toward satan during my own face-in-the-mud struggles:
    Put on my Beats By Drye, playing He's the Man (capital H and capital M intended to stand for Jesus).
    Give satan my inner Richard Sherman.
    Call in the Fourth Man.

  5. Wendy February 1, 2014 at 12:55 am #

    Giving Satan your inner Richard Sherman. Love it!!

  6. Anonymous February 1, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    Amen. thank you. praise be to God! The Kingdom of God is overpowering the kingdom of Satan

    Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. Matt 12 29

    What is Jesus saying? He's saying, “Haven't I demonstrated to you, by the ability that I have to tie up Satan, that I am greater than he? Haven't I shown you that My ability to steal his property, to control his hosts, to throw out his demons, to deliver men who are captive to his system and free them from their diseases, haven't I shown you that I can spoil his house? If I can spoil his house, I can bind him up; and if I can bind him up, then I am greater than he.” Christ entered Satan's house, tied him up, and stole his property. He is still doing that. Jesus is the King and He’s proved it by His ability to control Satan's dominion. If He’s the King, then the Kingdom is here.”
    And it's available to all; How do we enter? By faith in Christ. (excerpted from a J. MacArthur gty sermon)

  7. E. February 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    At such times, I also think of the verse and say to Satan, “Get behind me! You are a hindrance to me!” Yet sometimes it takes a while to remember that truth.

  8. Anonymous February 1, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    Hello Wendy,
    I came across the following scripture the other day and it encouraged me. When I read your post I thought it might encourage you too. Blessing to you and joy in his loving favor over you. I enjoy your posts thank you for sharing your heart with us.
    Psalm 116 (The Voice)
    1 I love the Eternal; for not only does He hear
    my voice, my pleas for mercy,
    2 But He leaned down when I was in trouble and brought His ear close to me.
    So as long as I have breath, I will call on Him.
    5 The Eternal is full of grace and naturally just;
    our God is compassionate and merciful.
    6 And the Eternal watches over the naive.
    Whenever I was knocked down, He reached down and saved me.
    7 O my soul! Return and relax. Come to your true rest,
    for the Eternal has showered you with His favor.

  9. Ann-Marie February 4, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    I love verse 7 “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord” That is so awesome! Its like in Peter where it says of Sara that she feared nothing that was frightening….its so totally impossible without giving your heart over to God