Years ago when he was in school, our nephew was a wrestler. He was the strongest kid I’d ever seen, seemingly born to be a champion. I can remember his mom and dad reporting week after week how he’d won his matches with ease. He ended up wrestling at the State and National competition levels, winning titles and medals for his strength and power. He literally couldn’t be stopped. He was determined, never took his eye off his opponent, and mustered up all his strength to win no matter who he happened to engage in the competition.
When I think back about this young man, I’m reminded of Ephesians 6:12. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Against whom are we fighting? With whom do we get angry during a disagreement? If we are like most folks, we find ourselves targeting people as if we were in a wrestling match engaging an opponent face-to-face.
According to the dictionary, wrestling is a battle of strength between two opposing forces; it is contending or striving.
Keep that in mind as you consider 1 Corinthians 9:25 which speaks of striving: “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” It is the same word used in Luke 13:24 that says, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”
Paul, in his second letter to Timothy, reveals to us the reward for this “striving” in chapter 4 verses 7-8: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Our wrestling against principalities, powers, and rules of darkness, against spiritual wickedness in high places, is a part of the striving process we must use as we press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. It’s a daily passionate striving as we pursue our enemy—not flesh and blood.
In our fight, we must be diligent and remain committed. We’re promised it won’t be easy; the word “strive” indicates resistance which will attempt to press us back in an effort to cause us to lose ground in our pursuit of the prize. We can’t give up; we MUST develop tenacity and determination that will not weaken in the midst of the fray.
Let’s get beyond the flesh and blood and our own corrupt natures to realize that we live in the midst of one spiritual battle after another. Our battle is with the ranks of the enemy although he most often uses those closest to us to engage us if he can and, unfortunately, he usually can. But, it doesn’t have to always be that way.
The Word of God tells us to withstand, to hold our ground. Thank God for the shed blood of the Precious Lamb that gives us the power to stand against his wiles and that has bought for us victory over the enemy. Our battle is against principalities, against powers, etc. The enemy is divisive, scheming, manipulative, crafty, and so on. But, we serve the God Most High, Righteous, and Holy, and Supreme over all; there is none who can compare to our Victorious King of Kings and Lord of Lords … the Champion Wrestler.
Father, help me to remember that my battle is NOT with flesh and blood. Help me to withstand the wiles of the devil, to recognize the enemy quickly and to stand firm against him. Lord, let Your strength rise up within me, giving me the strength needed in the midst of battle. Lord, I am weak, but You are strong. I am vulnerable, but You are my Defense. I am nothing and You are EVERYTHING. I love You, Lord, Amen!
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12)
© Jan Ross
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