Faith: The most effective wrestling techniques exist in Scripture
“For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV)
As I meet, talk and pray with Christians, I’ve come to realize we all have a hard time staying focused on the spiritual aspect of our Christian life because it is unseen and therefore unfamiliar to us. So the needs and pressures of everyday life become overwhelming and often intrude on the time we’ve set aside to read the Bible, pray or just be still and know that He is God.
I don’t begin to understand how this happens, but, I can be really “into” a passage in the Bible when a random thought about what to have for dinner pops up. In a split second my focus is derailed, and it’s really hard to refocus on that passage. Where did that random thought come from … and why right now?
I do understand that God has an enemy who is determined to keep me from knowing Him and living life in His kingdom. This enemy has been active since “the beginning” in the Garden of Eden when he spoke to Eve and challenged what she thought about God and the obedience He asked for regarding the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3).
From that story, it’s clear Satan obviously believes our thoughts are fair game and he knows how to insert distractions into our minds. He is called the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2 ESV) and “ruler of this world” (John 14:30 ESV), so he understands life on earth better than we do.
We are so innately self-focused we tend to think every thought in our minds must be our own. Which is why Scripture tells us to “take every thought captive to obey Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV). I must wrestle against thoughts that distract me from my focus on the Lord, His Word and whatever I was doing.
In John 14:30, Jesus says that the ruler of this world is coming but, “He has no claim on me.” Satan believes he has a claim on Christians, and that’s why he won’t leave us alone. Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
We have protection and effective weapons against the schemes of Satan, but we have to learn and practice them. God doesn’t want to control us — He wants us to grow. He lets us learn from our mistakes as well as successful accomplishments so we can recognize our weaknesses and strengths.
God’s plan for our victory is rooted in the life, death and resurrection of the only One on whom Satan had no claim, Jesus, God’s only Son. The moment anyone believes Jesus is the Son of God who died to pay for his or her sins, that person becomes a child of God, and receives the Spirit of God who “will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13 NASB)
Our most effective wrestling technique is found in James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We don’t have to pin Satan to the mat and hold him down for a certain amount of time. Jesus has already defeated him. We live our lives in Jesus’ victory. His Holy Spirit enables us to bring every thought captive, resist the distractions, and maintain focus on the One who gave all He is so we could have abundant life. (John 10:10 NASB)
Victoria Van Couvering is Women’s Ministry Director at Craig Christian Church. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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