I’ve honestly never been interested in boxing. Why someone would want to participate in a sport where they are going to get punched and bruised is beyond my comprehension. But I do find the imagery of boxing so relatable.
In order to achieve victory, we all experience some bumps and bruises. We get knocked down and no matter how much it hurts, we have to make the decision to get back up in spite of the pain. We have to dig down deep and find the strength to keep fighting. We even have to throw a few punches of our own, until our opponent is incapable of continuing and throws in the towel.
In our pain, our disappointment, our discouragement, our frustration or our loneliness, we turn to all sorts of sources for help. Often we forget to turn to Jesus.
Does God listen to his cry when distress comes upon him? Will he find delight in the Almighty? Will he call upon God at all times? (Job 27:9-10)
I can get so focused on my right now circumstance that I forget I’m never alone and that God has promised to be there when we call. Does that happen to you? Instead of calling on His name, I start to try to fix things on my own and quickly realize that without Him I am stoppable. I am breakable. My power alone; my talent alone; my desire alone; my good intentions alone; my resources alone are not enough.
Can you relate?
Is there a situation in your life that seems insurmountable? A situation that feels like it might break you? When we start thinking like that we have forgotten that our power comes from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
When I forget to call on Jesus and seek His help, reassurance and guidance, it’s usually because I’m letting the spiritual warfare around my situation get into my head. So even though I truly believe these words found in 2 Corinthians, I can allow negativity, hopelessness, insecurity, past hurts and disappointments to all cloud my mind.
Spiritual warfare is real. You have to accept that or else you can’t fight it.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. (The Usual Suspects, 1995)
When I was a new Christian I didn’t really understand what spiritual warfare was. Even after reading scripture I wasn’t sure what it looked like in my own life. But then I read This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti. Although it’s fiction, it truly helped me understand what spiritual warfare looks like in every day life. (If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend you pick up a copy. Another great read is C.S. Lewis’ classic, The Screwtape Letters.) Once I read This Present Darkness, everything clicked and I began to recognize the warfare that had been going on in my life for years.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
Once my eyes and understanding was truly open, I was ready to fight. Are you ready to fight? Are you ready to accept the reality that you are stronger than you think you are? God has given you everything you need. You just have to decide to use it.
This doesn’t mean that things are going to be easy. It does mean that when you call on His name, He will answer. When you call on His name, you are unstoppable. You are unbreakable, because your power comes from Him.
Don’t let the devil make you think he doesn’t exist. Recognize when the spiritual forces of evil make you think that you can’t make it. Stand your ground, knowing that with the full armor of God and prayer that you already have the victory. (Ephesians 6:14-18)
In those moments of doubt, struggle and despair, when your mind gets overwhelmed with thoughts of hopelessness, it can be hard to remember what you already know. So I have a simple tip for you…..just STAND. Literally, when you start to think you can’t make it, stand up. Stand tall and call on the name of Jesus.
If you can’t think of anything else to pray, just say “Jesus I need You. I seek Your face, Your love, Your strength and Your power. Please help me to stand against the devil’s schemes and only believe Your truth, that You love me, that You want the best for me and that with You on my side, I already have the victory in this situation. Help me to not be anxious, but to rest in this knowledge, feeling Your peace as I wait on You to work this situation out for my good.”
I started this post talking about boxing. There is something else I find interesting about this sport. The opponents throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time. There are rounds with breaks in between. That means that before they begin, they know the match will eventually end. So they just have to hold on and keep fighting long enough to make it to hear that bell ring.
Isn’t that just like life? We enter the ring, knowing that there is an enemy. We know we’re gonna have to spend some time in battle with him and that it might hurt. But we have been given the ability to fight back and we have a coach in our corner rooting us on. We can choose not to give up, even when we get knocked down. There will be seasons when we get a break from the attacks and then we might find ourselves right back in the ring again. But ultimately we know the battle will end, if we just hold on, keep fighting and don’t give up, we will hear the victory bell ring.
When did you first come to understand spiritual warfare?
Jamila is a speaker, writer and the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.