Girls high school wrestling became an official sport in Nebraska this past school year with over 700 young ladies across the state joining.
My daughter happened to be one of them.
Sitting in the crowd learning and observing this aggressive sport was a new thing for this mom. I sat in the bleachers every meet I was able to make it to, squirmishly and anxiously watching as my girl wrestled, and really every time I’d watch any of the kids wrestle; it’s an intense sport and I could hardly handle the nerve-racking human-pretzel-like shapes they’d sometimes end up in. Doublemint gum became one of my closest companions as I’d smack on it to try and “bridge” the stress.
One particular match we went to included both boys and girls wrestling. There’s an image instilled in my mind in which this young man was held down in a headlock position. His opponent, nor the ref, showed any mercy as the kid strained with every ounce of energy trying to free himself while his neck was twisted to the side, against the mat, in the most awkward placement.
I kept my rookie-fan thoughts from slipping from my lips but I could barely contain myself. And finally the man seated behind me, who I would guess was probably a seasoned onlooker, spoke aloud, “he’s gonna break his neck!”
And seriously it truly looked that way.
Maybe it was the prayer I whispered, but miraculously the kid was able to remove himself from what looked like a certain loss and went on to defeat his neck-holding opposer.
Afterwards, though, he sat in the stands rubbing his neck for comfort. The pain he must have felt in his neck, I felt in my heart. Yes, I was happy for his win but watching the grapple to get there was harsh and I felt sorry over the pain he was in.
Looking back on this I’m reminded of the way Satan similarly works.
Negative thoughts or spiritual warfare step across the boundary line of our Christian life as Satan urges them on from a ref’s standpoint. With all relentless effort they go in for the “shoot,” and if we’re not prepared, at times, we get knocked down.
Y’all satan’s efforts are real and they are strong, he wants us away from Jesus—plain and simple.
He “shoots” to fill us with lies. The weakness he overloads us with can sometimes cause us to feel like we’d make a great contender for the heavy weight class regardless of our physical appearance. His hope is to place us in the bracket of vulnerability without our consent. He’s not a fair player. Ruthless and sneaky.
From a humble crowd watcher, though, we hear these straightforward words: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
This (Holy Spirit) fan has given us honest but serious words as an explanation of our predicament but then takes care to go on with the answer to overcome our troubled situation, boldly chanting: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
It’s the encouragement and prompting we need for the perfect pin, at just the right time.
WE ARE NEVER TOO FAR FROM OBTAINING A WIN.
I love what Lysa Terkeurst (Proverbs 31 Ministries) wrote in one of her past blog posts: Sin—recognize it, reject it, replace it with LOVE.
What a great mindset and way to quickly and efficiently ward off Satan’s attempts before they have a chance to put us in a “cradle hold.”
The lies we sometimes believe, the embarrassment we might feel, or the negative peer pressure we face…ALL Satan’s game, ALL SIN…and ALL must be refuted!!!!
We must be aware of the evil Satan causes, and learn the truth to winning that Jesus coaches. This way we are mentally, physically, and spiritually prepared.
And as we focus on Christ (through the thick and thin) we trust the victory is ours every single time because He’s already won the championship by defeating sin and death on the cross and we are truly within His divine circle. He pulls us together to declare the perfect win—filled with glorious celebration for His purpose.
In God’s Heavenly championship, no longer do we sit anxiously in the stands or at the risk of a full nelson…instead He holds us closely, proudly, calmly, victoriously.