Our Commander-and-Chief said, “I am the way” (John 14:6). But every generation asks, “How do we ‘show up’ for the battle? What constitutes the way to get our ‘rocks ready’?” From earliest times, Christians have included the Beatitudes as one way to prepare for the battle and experiencing victory. Rather than seeing the Beatitudes as a collection of wise saying, Christians view them as a “way” of life that leads us increasingly into Christlikeness. I share this view, even though it is difficult to describe it. But for now, think of it as a battle that takes us ever closer into the mind, heart, and work of Christ. The Beatitudes are a kind of “battle” in our minds that enable us to rise into increasing Christlikeness, with this invitational pattern…. (Matthew 5:3-12)
(1) The Battle of Surrender (v. 3)—everything begins with abandonment.
(2) The Battle of Lament (v. 4)—before God, we always ‘mourn’ our sins.
(3) The Battle of Guidance (v. 5)—God direct the steps of the ‘meek.’
(4) The Battle of Holiness (v. 6)—understood as ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness.
(5) The Battle of Compassion (v. 7)—living as God’s ‘merciful’ people.
(6) The Battle of Singularity (v. 8)—’purity of heart is to will one thing” (Kierkegaard)
(7) The Battle of Reconciliation (v. 9)—being God’s ‘peacemakers’ in a warring world.
(8) The Battle of Suffering (v. 10)—’persecuted for righteousness’ sake.’
(9) The Battle of Joy (v. 11-12)—’rejoice’ even when it hurts; heaven is real.
I can only point you to these “battles” along the “way.” But taken together, they are one way to answer the question, “What does it mean to fight the good fight of faith?” And that is more than enough for now. Study them individually, but also collectively—and then “show up like David did, get your rocks ready.”