Wrestling is Real
The NBA is totally rigged. They know who's going to win a NASCAR race before they even get started. The Bachelor is a complete manipulation of emotion.
"Wrasslin' is real!"
Growing up in the South, there were two things you could count on happening every Saturday night. The Braves would lose, and then we'd watch "wrasslin'." It was the Four Horsemen and the Von Erichs. It was Ricky the Dragon Steamboat vs. Randy Macho Man Savage. It was The Rock 'n' Roll Express vs. The Fabulous Freebirds and it had nothing to do with Lynard Skynard. Wrasslin' was a southern man's soap opera.
Then you turn 40, and some guy tells you that NASCAR is real and that wrasslin is fake. Yeah right. That same guy probably believes in Bigfoot.
So "wrasslin" may not be what we thought it was, but there is another wrestling the Bible reveals that is very real.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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 6:11-12
It's a spiritual wrestling
Ephesians 6:11-12 reminds us that all you see is not all there is. There is a material world and a spiritual one.
People are complex, and life is complicated. We make the mistake of thinking that everything is just emotional, physical, relational, psychological, or financial - but nothing is spiritual. You'll get whipped in a world like that because you miss the spiritual reality and fail to wrestle effectively. You can physically fix a material world, but you must spiritually engage an unseen one. People that account for the spiritual reality of their wrestling don't try to "fix things"; they pray for wisdom, the Spirit's leading, and God's protection.
It's a personal wrestling
Wrestling is grappling. It's not firing shots; wrestling is grabbing on. Ephesians 6 is important because it helps us understand why people get in our heads, why criticism lingers, and why you always seem to 'take it home.' It's because that person may have walked away, but that's not what you're wrestling.
I'll never forget my first "pastor" critic. I was so discouraged and I had to get away, so I drove 150 miles to visit a friend. I left my critic in Crossville, but he rode with me the whole way.
When I got there, I shared how much I disliked this man, and I wanted my friend's counsel on how to handle him. My friend said, "Brian, remember, we don't wrestle against flesh and blood." I had hold of the wrong guy. I also realized that my critic had no real hold on me. I would not win this argument. I had to wrestle this spiritually. I would do much better on my knees and in the Word than in my critic's face.
Remember what you wrestle.
Read 2 Corinthians 10:1-6.
- What does this passage teach us about conflict?
- How does this passage inspire you to pray?
- How does this passage call for you to praise God?
List 3 pervading negative or sinful thoughts in your mind; something you think about every day. Write them out. Over the next 5 days pray for God to show you what it means to "take every thought captive to obey Christ." Further study this concept in Scripture. Journal your study.