“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  Ephesians 6:10-12

The closest I’ve ever come to a wrestling match is breaking up my boys when they were little.  They never wrestled angry, just for fun.  It’s a boy thing, I guess.

But the second I was saved, I faced a wrestling match of a spiritual kind.  Whether I acknowledged it or not, I was on the mat, and my opponent was out for blood.

He still is.

He knows every trick in the book and he’ll use them to his advantage.  He knows my weaknesses, he knows when I’m tired, he knows when my attention is on something else.

But I think his greatest advantage is coming at me when I’m nowhere near the ring.  When I’ve let down my guard, and he looks less like an opponent and more like a movie everybody else is seeing that somewhere deep inside I know I shouldn’t, or that shiny thing I can’t afford, or an attitude I think I’m entitled to.

Do I wrestle then?

Do I go to God in prayer and fight the temptation, or do I just give in?

Maybe I assume that if everybody else is doing it, it must be okay.  Or, I might think I don’t want to bother God, because, well, I really, really want to do it.  Or have it.

So, just like I think I’ll trick my body into ignoring the calories of a strawberry cupcake if I eat it really fast, somehow we believe God will turn a blind eye if we do this one thing really quick.  It’ll just a take a minute.  Or a couple of hours.

And before we know it, satan has us pinned.

Theoretically, we know scripture says there’s a struggle with the enemy.  The question is, are we struggling back? Are we fighting to put aside our own will and certainly the enemy’s, and seeking God’s will for us personally, or have we given up the fight? Have we assumed certain things are okay because everybody else, even other Christians, are doing it?

The enemy is ruthless in his efforts to defeat us.  He’ll fight dirty, he’ll fight hard, he’ll simply wait until we’re too tired to keep fighting back.  Until the world around us is screaming “Barrabas!” (or at least trying to blend in with the crowd) and we don’t want to be the only one screaming “Jesus!”

Don’t let the enemy defeat you by stealing your convictions and shoving you into the world’s compromise.

Calories are calories, and God’s truth is the truth.  Period.  He loves us too much to turn a blind eye.

Who knows, maybe God wants us to have that particular shiny thing. But He most definitely wants us to ask.  He wants us to stand with Him and when we do, He’ll be in the ring with us and we can’t lose.

The goal in wrestling is to gain a superior position over our opponent.  God tells us how to do that:

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

Whatever you’re dressed in today, make darn sure you have on the full armor of God.

And be prepared to fight.

 

In the love of Christ,