Ephesians 6:12-13 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
I grew up in the era when professional wrestling was in its heyday. Verne Gagne, Dusty Rhodes, Andre the Giant, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, The Crusher, Nick Bockwinkle, The Bruiser, and so many more. As you watched, it was high on entertainment, but little to no real, actual wrestling.
They were boisterous, proud, loud, and full of themselves. Their egos and the limelight made for a venue that captured many avid fans and followers. On stage and in front of the camera, they pitted themselves against each other but were the best of friends off stage. It was high energy performance filled with crushing blows, acrobatic stunts, and sometimes a few purely theatrical moments.
When we look at the wrestling God talks about here in Ephesians, there is no comparison.
When we were saved, we immediately made an enemy of our former father, the devil. He is a most powerful and formidable foe; one we severely underestimate. He has studied mankind for centuries. He knows our likes and dislikes. He watches to see what sin captures our eye, and he creates an opportunity.
He has power in this world. He has a rank and file of devoted demons that do his bidding. He is a murderer, the father of all lies and devoid of truth.
John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
When we received Jesus Christ as Savior, we were given the power to become a child of God. I did not posses, nor will any human being ever possess the power to become a child of God on their own.
John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
Most often the wrestling we do in this life is masked by a far greater perpetrator with an agenda. Satan has a MO – modus operandi. Generally, it is everything anti-God, which is why he is known as the antichrist.
He is a destroyer of everything God loves. He is prideful, murderous, vengeful, hateful, full of lies, spite, venom, and anger toward anyone and anything associated with God. He divides and conquers any, and all the will yield to his temptations.
He paints sin to look good, and those first few bites may even taste good. But in the end, they all lead to bondage, division, destruction, and ultimately, death. He doesn’t care how long it takes to turn your head. He will be persistent, persuasive, and make it look as if God doesn’t love or care for you.
That saying, “Misery loves company” is Satan’s moniker. He wants to pull us into his world of rejection, fear, loneliness, and defeat. God knew that we would be susceptible to his attacks and gives us what we need to take on what comes from our enemy.
We have been given armor to wear.
Ephesians 6:14-17 “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
Prayer is one of our greatest weapons as well.
Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
We have been given such beautiful promises.
Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”
Often, we are deceived into thinking that one with whom I have disagreement is my enemy; or that one who dislikes me, or even hates me is my enemy. We fail to take God’s Word seriously.
Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Satan would like us to think that our spouse, our neighbor, that family member, church member, or even the pastor is my enemy; when in fact they are being used by the enemy to get your heart estranged from the very One who has the power to deliver you from all of it.
He likes to throw a grenade of contention into our relationships while he stands back and watches us fight with one another. He dangles his dainties in front of us to see if we’ll take the bait. When we do, he runs to God to accuse us and use us to hurt the heart of God. He is the accuser of the brethren.
Revelation 12:9-10 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”
It often becomes challenging amidst the fight to see clearly what is actually happening. Our emotions are running high, our spiritual level is low, and we are more often than not; tired, weak, and carnal.
So, when the wrestling begins, we lash out at that one we feel is responsible for the fight when, in fact, they’ve just been a tool of the devil to get your spirit. They may know just the words to say to hurt, damage, and destroy your spirit in three easy steps. We need to use God’s Word to combat this situation.
Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
“…ye which are spiritual”
Maintaining and sustaining a sweet Christian spirit is no small task. But, do it we must!
No matter who you are, your evil day will come. When it does, will you have your armor on? Will you see the enemy for who he really is? Or will you be the one who takes up the fight with that one used of the devil to get your spirit? God tells us:
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
The times of our greatest failure is when we did not take heed to the Word of God.
If we are to wrestle, let it be in our prayer closet as we wrestle with our flesh and any and all that hinders us from getting to God with our requests. Pray for that one who has hurt you deeply. Lift up that one who seems to have it in for you. Step onto the battlefield of prayer and use the weapons God has given us.
Then, we can genuinely rejoice in the victory that comes when we hide in Him.