“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith: who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
The final verse of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” describes our tools and comportment while in the battle, and the final victory.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours thro’ Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
As the King’s soldiers, we have God-given abilities and possessions, most notably the indwelling God’s Spirit and empowering gifts. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9). “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4). We should “fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28) and focus on Him, “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts”—even goods and kindred (Luke 9:60-62), if need be. “We should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12-13).
As of yet the battle continues. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21), “and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). JDM
Click here for the sheet music for this hymn.