When I was growing up, the eighth-grade students from our local school annually competed against students from the other schools in our district in track and field events. The contest was held at the county fair. It was an honor to be chosen to represent your school in at least one event.
The year I was eligible to participate, our coach held the trials on a day when I was not at school. On my return, I was disappointed to hear that the team members had been chosen, and that I had not gotten the opportunity to compete for a spot in one of the events. I knew that I was too slow to race, that I couldn’t throw a softball far enough, or that I couldn’t jump with enough distance to earn a position on one of those teams. But I did believe that I stood a chance of earning a spot on the tug-of-war team. (Never mind the fact that I was one of the smallest kids in the class; standing about 4’ 11” and weighing about 95 lbs. In my mind, I was just as big and strong as any of the other boys in the class.)
Our teacher agreed to allow me to try out for the tug-of-war team by competing one-on-one against the smallest boy on the squad. He gave me three different chances to prove my assertion that I deserved to be on the team. Each time, my opponent dragged me all over the field on which we were competing.
It turned out, I wasn’t as big or strong as I thought.
We often believe that we are just as big and strong as Satan. We believe that we can defeat him in one-on-one competitions. But so many times, as we hold on tightly to the temptations he has thrown out to us, we find ourselves being dragged around as if we are nothing. We find that we aren’t nearly as big and strong as we thought we were. The thing which we believed we could control ends up controlling us.
The good news is that we can turn loose of many of the temptations which Satan throws at us. The better news is that when we find ourselves so intensely involved in a fight against Satan that we can’t turn loose, Jesus is available to be our anchor man.
Jesus will not let us lose the battle.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29) ESV
“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 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. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:10-18a) ESV
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