We've all had the dream. The one that you're fighting to save your life. You're waiting for the chance to deliver that one blow that will knock down your enemy and allow you to escape. Finally, you see the opportunity and you decide to take it. You bring your arm back and with all of your strength you send your fist, flying through the air with all of your might, plunging into the face of your foe. Only, instead of hearing the smack of your fist on flesh and a cry of
unexpected pain as they fall to the ground allowing you to make a run for it, nothing. Your fist loses all power and strength and it's as if your hand barely even makes contact with its target. Rather than an amazing scene from Rocky in which your Dolph Lundgren goes down for the count, it feels more like an ant trying to punch an oak tree and knock it to the ground. Most frustrating dream ever. How many of us would say that we feel this way about our spiritual lives when we're attacked by the enemy?
When we truly follow Christ, seeking Him and following God's plan for our lives, serving His kingdom, we pretty much walk around with a target on our backs. We have an enemy that wants to keep us from doing those things and he uses any means necessary. Are we prepared to step into the ring and fight back? When the fiery blows are hurling towards us, will we be knocked out or will we stand our ground like the heavyweights that we are, roll under the punches and throw a haymaker?
My husband and I recently started boxing with a trainer and, while I still know absolutely nothing about the sport, I can't help but relate it to my spiritual life. When you're in the ring you have to stay focused, if you take your eyes off of your opponent or drop your guard they will take full advantage of the opportunity. You have to keep your gloves up and be ready to protect yourself with a strong and powerful defense. You need to keep moving. We've all heard the terms bob and weave, right? A moving target is harder to hit. When you throw a punch, you put your entire body into it. If you can actually accomplish this without making yourself fall over (not me), it makes your punch more powerful. When it comes to spiritual warfare, we have to remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood like it is in a boxing ring. In this ring, we have to keep our focus on Christ. When we take our eyes off of Christ and allow distractions to creep in, the enemy is going to grab ahold of any foothold that he can find and start throwing some serious punches. He will derail us, divert our course, and flat out kill us if he can. We must stay focused, throw off anything that would hinder us and run our race (Hebrews 12:1). 1Peter 5:8 tells us to be watchful, that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. The Bible tells us in Joshua 1 to be strong and courageous. We have to keep our gloves up, ready to thwart our enemy with a strong defense. We have a strong and powerful defense because our Lord is with us and He fights for us. I have also begun to realize the importance of movement in my spiritual life. We have to keep moving, keep learning and growing in our faith. If we become stagnant, ultimately we just begin to decline. We start a slow slide down a slope of indifference that leads us to a stale and ineffective faith. In order to defeat our enemy, we have to move forward in our relationship with God; studying His word, spending time in prayer, seeking after Him and growing in our faith. And, we must actively put on the full armor of God, using our "full body" to pack that punch that will bring down our enemy. Every morning we need to put on the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, helmet of salvation, shield of faith, and sword of the spirit so that we can enter the ring prepared and ready to win our fight. When we are prepared for our battle against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms and enter the ring as the heavyweight child of God that we know we are, we can bring the enemy down with one blow.
Join Amanda and Kristy this week as we talk about Kristy's attempts at boxing, and how we can relate her training to spiritual training. All you heavyweights holla and tell us how you stay on guard to be victorious in the ring.
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