Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wresting Matches

While others have been writing of Thanksgiving and the preparation of wonderful dishes, here I am writing once again of warfare. Believe me, I am NOT about doom and gloom. I love the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. Who doesn't like to eat?! And I am very thankful for all God has done in my life, especially for my salvation which I do not take lightly. God's blessing and beauty is all around me and I revel in it, in Him. I LOVE HIM WITH ALL MY HEART. However, in the midst of the blessing is the battle and this is where I am and where He is leading me to write. So, here goes!

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Have you ever seen a wrestling match? I'm not fond of the flamboyant wrestling that takes place on television. I know a lot of it is for show and has been staged. I also believe it teaches children to be puffed up and prideful; not to mention, confrontational. This is how satan must appear if we could actually see him. All swollen up and beating his chest as he spews out threats.

In most true wrestling matches, the object is to pin down your opponent, rendering him powerless. The sumo wrestlers of Japan wrestle inside a ring. Their goal is to knock their opponent off their feet or push them outside a ring. The beginners usually step into the ring and begin to wrestle, while the more experienced will size up one another. This is done by coming to the center line in the ring where they crouch down staring at each other. They may do this several times before the actual bout. Each time they will return to their corner for more mental preparation. As children of God, we are mentally prepared by His Word. Our wrestling is not of this world.

The Word of God tells us that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, our warfare is spiritual. (Eph.6:12) If you find yourself in a wrestling match with enemy forces, don't be discouraged. God is in control. I am struggling right now to keep this in the forefront of my mind. The closer I draw to God, the more of His Word I grasp, the stronger the battle becomes. I'm finding this is also true with other Christians I am close to. We may feel like we are losing, but we are not. We are being strengthened to endure what is to come. 

God doesn't use those who have a form of godliness but deny His power. (2 Timothy 3:5) Why do we not see more healing and deliverance in the church? Why do we see more sin, more lovers of pleasure than lovers of God? Because these are the last days we are living in and those who are serious about their relationship with God and living holy lives are finding themselves in the heat of the battle.

The Word tells us that there must first come a falling away, then Christ will come. (2 Thess. 2:3)  What are people falling away from?  They are falling away from Truth. The word for "falling away" is apostasia or apostasy which means defection, rebellion, abandonment, to renounce or to abandon a previous loyalty. I've heard it preached many a time that you cannot "lose" your salvation. Salvation, like Love, is a choice. You can choose to walk away from Christ otherwise the bible wouldn't say that you can.

Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits." Our lives, our actions, and our words tell the world who we belong to. Jesus speaks in Matthew 24:12 about the love of many waxing cold. That tells me they were once on fire for God, their candle was lit and burning brightly. But now the fire has gone out and their hearts, like wax, have grown cold and hard. The battle can make us weary and many will fall away from Christ. Now is the time to press in and draw closer to Him. He will strengthen you.

Take time to examine your heart. Is it on fire with passion for your first Love? Has it grown cold toward God? Are you lukewarm? Is He standing outside the door knocking or has He taken up residence within you? (Rev. 3:14-22) Allow Him to be your Fortress, your Strong Tower, your Dwelling Place. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

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