Size Up Your Opponent

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading

Devotional

STEP INTO THE RING


I spend most of my gym time on the treadmill, a reliable way to get my miles in during the cold winter months. The other day, I decided to change things up and hopped on the elliptical machine. I was surprised to see it offered a mixed martial arts (MMA) workout, which tries to mimic MMA bouts. As I moved with the rhythm, the screen offered messages encouraging me to “throw it” and “punch and move.” The last command it gave before I “stepped into the ring” was simply: “Size up your opponent and fight!”


I act tough when I’m engaged in a pretend-MMA match, but if I ever stepped into a real ring with a trained martial arts fighter, I would get it handed to me! Outside the gym, I hate violence and avoid confrontation. Unfortunately, Ephesians 6:12 makes it clear that God’s children are, in fact, in a battle, but the fight is with spiritual forces of wickedness in the Heavenlies. If we fight this war using our own strength, we would be down for the count in record time. Fortunately, Jesus is our champion. He has already disarmed Satan at the cross, fought on our behalf in the battle for our souls, and guaranteed our eternal salvation.


His accomplishment means that we are fighting from victory and not for victory. He delivered his knock-out punch when He conquered death and rose from the grave, stripping the enemy of his title and his power over us. Each of us now has the authority to push back against evil, armed with the knowledge that we cannot effect change without confrontation. 


We live in a fallen world. As the days become increasingly dark and wicked, we have no choice but to enter the battle. Nehemiah 4:14 says,


“Don’t be afraid of the enemy. Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” 


Now, more than ever, we must be bold and courageous. We have a responsibility to fight for our loved ones, for our nation, and for future generations. 


In Proverbs 24:11-12, I read an urgent plea for us to step into the ring and take a greater role in defending our brothers and sisters. It says:


Deliver those who are being taken away to death, And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.” 


We have been given authority over the enemy for a reason. If we choose to do nothing, evil will continue to triumph.


CONSIDER THIS: 


“Evil is powerless when the righteous are unafraid.” – Ronald Reagan