“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 6:12
There are things from our past that we may be reluctant to admit. Like our first crush. When we stopped playing with toys. Our most embarrassing moment in public. Something we should not have said. Well, I will admit that years ago I loved WRESTLING. I got hooked on the spectacle and the show while watching a WrestleMania at my aunt’s house. I became a fanatic, even forcing my stepdad to take me to a pro wrestling event when I was a teenager.
This season has been one of INTENSE WRESTLING for me (and for many as well). As a pastor, I have had to wrestle with the decision-making process of regathering and how to clearly communicate this to our church family. As a believer, I have had to wrestle with the disappointing manner by which some believers have voiced their positions and opinions, often causing greater division and less edification. As a husband and father, I have had to wrestle with the many responsibilities/demands of being present, providing for the family, and leading us in God’s way. As a human being, I have had to wrestle with the abhorrent injustices of racism, hate, and violence that has cost another black man his life.
In these times, I have decided to break out my wrestling gear and moves. No, I am not taking about a colorful outfit or hitting someone with a body slam, clothesline, or leap from the top ropes. As believers, we have been called to an invisible wrestling match that pits the Spirit versus our flesh; light against darkness; blessing over the barriers. Let me share a few reminders that will help us win this match:
1) We must engage the internal battle by aligning and submitting ourselves to the Holy Spirit.
“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”- Galatians 5:17-18
2) When the pressure mounts, take a position of worship and prayer to see the battle won.
“And being in anguish, Jesus prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”- Luke 22:44
3) Our focus in all things should be receiving, walking in, and extending God’s blessing!
“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak…Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.’ But Jacob replied, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
- Genesis 32:24, 26
The intense wrestling of today is very real. Let us walk close to Jesus, putting on all of His grace and strength, and contend for the victory He has for the people and places in our world that need greater peace, joy, and hope.