Growing up learning martial arts, it was not hard to be appealed by karate or kung fu movies and one of my favorite action movies is Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon. In that movie, there is a quote by Bruce Lee that got etched in my mind. Bruce Lee is asked for his style (of martial arts) by a bully and he responds by saying that his style is the “art of fighting without fighting” and as the scene progresses you see that he teaches the bully a lesson without fighting with brawl but with his brains.
When questioned by Pontius Pilate, Jesus responded that His Kingdom was not of this world. He then adds on to say that if His Kingdom was of this world, then His servants would fight from Him; that He would not be delivered to the Jews; that His Kingdom is not from here (this world) (John 18:36). Note how Jesus expressed that His servants would NOT fight for Him because His Kingdom was not of this world. In other words, Jesus was saying that His style of engaging in spiritual battle was the art of fighting (Spiritually) without fighting (physically).
Although we are engaged in Spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:11-12) we are not expected to engage in physical warfare. Many who were persecuted for the sake of Jesus Christ, chose not to retaliate in any form, because they recognized, learned and applied the art of fighting without fighting in their lives, many unto death.Their Master had taught them well. We are to be the same. We are easily angered when Christians are persecuted and I am guilty of such emotion. The Kandhamal riots against Christians or the burning of Graham Staines and his two sons in Orissa, India, makes me angry and a part of me wants not just justice, but revenge. The Scripture now teaches me to understand that Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world and His style is the art of fighting without fighting. This means that instead of trying to restore justice through physical means, we must be fighting on our knees (in prayer), enamored with the Armor of God, standing firm with the belt of TRUTH, the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS, the feet fitted with readiness for that which comes from the gospel of PEACE (not war), the shield of FAITH, the helmet of SALVATION and the sword of the SPIRIT which is the word of God.
The litmus test would be, when I am persecuted for the sake of Jesus Christ, will I be a true follower of my Master? Will I know the art of fighting without fighting? My prayer is that I will and do. Will you?
John 18:36 (KJV)
36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.