Muhammad Ali & Me

I’ve never understood the ‘sport’ of boxing. I can understand the desire to pummel someone with your fist but the risk of being pummeled far outweighs the joy of the former. Even more confusing is the audience excitement at the sight of flowing body fluids and swollen faces. Why doesn’t the beat up boxer just lie there,  down for the count,  at least it’ll be over.

I was an unwilling participant when a phone call hurled me into the ring with the enemy of my soul. We’ve being going round and round for a few weeks now. For a time he landed punch after punch of fear, anxiety, heartache, depression, and hopelessness. I stumbled back onto my feet time after time, but exhaustion set in quickly. I was down for the count and not at all sad about it.

In that moment,  the guy in my corner steps in. He pushes my opponent aside and gets in my face. Do not be afraid,  he repeats 365 times. Be strong and courageous he says 25  times. I am with you he tells me over three hundred times. And with those words ringing in my ear above all the din of the world arena,  he grabs my arm and pulls me up. I wish the next scene were limping out of the arena with his arm supporting me, but it isn’t. Instead he pulls me to my feet and propels me to the center of the ring where Satan awaits bouncing around on his feet ready for the next blow.

An old gospel song reminds me,  “it’s a battlefield, brother, not a recreation room,  it’s a fight not a game.”   So back into the ring I go, and Satan pulls his best punch,  hopelessness,  this will never change certainly not for the better. This final blow,  the one he expects to bring me down,  can and will. I am  on the ropes with only one hope of survival. The one thing that will stop his final punch and throw him to the ground, my  only defense. I throw the only blow I have, ‘by the blood of the lamb and the word of (my) testimony.’    My return blows come from my mouth (no surprise there)  not my hands.

Satan,  you have no power, Jesus took it from you on the cross (Hebrews 2:14-15)  The Word of God abides in me, and I can overcome you. (I John 2:14)  My steps are ordered of God (Psalm37:23)  and I have been made righteous by the blood of the lamb (Romans 5:17). You have come against me, but I come against you in the name of the Lord almighty(I Samuel 17:45)  No punch you throw at me can succeed,  your accusations are lies, I am defended by the God of the Universe and because of Him I will be victorious. (Isaiah 54:17). I have peace that you cannot steal because it is a gift from Jesus himself (John 14:27)  You don’t scare me because I have a spirit of power and my thoughts are captive to that spirit (2 Timothy 1:7,  2 Corinthians 10:5)

So,  I live to fight another day. “ I have told you this so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.”  –Jesus (John 16:33 CEV)

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