“For we are not wrestling with physical opponents—but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly supernatural sphere” (Ephesians 6:12 AMPLIFIED).
WHO IS REALLY OUR OPPONENTS?
When “wrestling” comes to mind, I first think of the name that has become synonymous with wrestling in the United States; Dan Gable. He perhaps was the greatest amateur champion in freestyle wrestling as of today. Dan won 181 consecutive matches in high school and college and the won 15 national championships as a college coach. He is also known for his quotations regarding wrestling, such as, “Right out of high school I never had to fear of getting beat, which is how most people lose.” Wouldn’t it be great if we could express that quote in our spiritual lives?
THE “WHO” AND “WHO IT’S NOT” IN EPHESIANS 6:12
2. Oppressors (“despotisms).
4. Powers; “the DARK SIDE” or “the world”.
5. “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm”.
1. Physical opponents.
2. Flesh and Blood.
Another Dan Gable Quote: “Wrestling is the only sport I’ve ever competed in that puts you totally in a situation of constant [motion] without breaks. I could play football or baseball, swim—but there’s always some kind of situation that would break my thoughts, break my concentration.”
Author Frank Peretti’s statement on the back of two of his books, “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness” says, “If you think spiritual warfare is just fiction, think again.” If by chance, you have never read these Christian classics, I encourage you to do so! It will put your thinking inline with the author’s statement. Nothing I’ve ever read before gave me such a vivid picture of Ephesians 6:12 than these two books mentioned. With that said, turn to the Book of Romans in your Bible.
Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (the N.I.V. translation).
Dan Gable said that he “never had the fear of getting beat”. And as Scripture tells us, “we are more than conquerors” in Christ Jesus. Have you thought you were a loser at times; you have been defeated by sin and temptation. That notion isn’t coming from Jesus. “Conquerors” can’t be labeled as “losers” and Scripture say we are “more than conquerors”! That verse quoted in Romans 8 is our security when it comes to our wrestling against spiritual forces.
AT OUR “SALVATION”
When we first became believers, something happened in the “heavenly sphere”. We were given assurance by the Holy Spirit “VICTORY” (Rom. 8:37). Something else happened at the same time; we became enemies to the “WHO’S”. Ephesians 6:12 says we must then engage the opponents in “The Act of Wrestling”.
THE MANNER OF ENGAGEMENT
There is always preparation that come before engaging an opponent; before going to the wrestling mat. You need to know everything about the wrestling opponents schemes or plans before you even enter the ring of life.
The 5 “D”s:
1. Doubt—you question God’s Word and His goodness.
2. Discouragement—makes you look at your problems.
3. Diversions—makes the wrong things attractive.
4. Defeat—makes you feel like a failure.
5. Delay—makes you put off doing something so that it never gets done; spiritual procrastination. That was King Rehoboam’s problem in 2 Chronicles 12:14.
GRAPPLING IN THE ACT OF WRESTLING
In Olympic “free-style” wrestling, grappling is often used in trying to defeat your opponent. In martial arts, grappling weapons can be used. “Grappling’s object is either to take down and pin the opponent or to catch the adversary in a specialized chokehold or joint lock which forces him or her to submit and admit defeat or be rendered helpless.” In plain and simple terms, to grapple means “to seize and hold fast”; grip the legs, arms, neck, shoulders all for one purpose:
1. Get you off-balance.
2. Get you off your feet.
3. Get you to the mat on your back.
A grapple hold in wrestling is to get your opponent off-balance. In the Spiritual Realm, the opponent uses two subtle grappling holds:
1. Suggestion—robs you of your blessings.
2. Emotions—emotions are your “feelings”, your control.
DO WE HAVE A GRAPNEL [a weapon] AGAINST OUR OPPONENT?
We sure do and, It’s God’s Word!
John 12:31 “Now the judgement (crisis) of this world is coming on [sentence is now being passed on this world]. Now the ruler (evil genius, prince} of this world shall be cast out (expelled).”
Other verses in the Gospel of John: John 14:30; John 15:11.
What then is Spiritual Balance?
“It’s the movement of obedience and the distribution of faith between vision and sacrifice as we move together in unison.” That’s body movement, our position in the ring, The Act of Wrestling. As Dan Gable said about wrestling, “It puts you totally in a situation of constant [motion]…” It becomes harder for the opponent to take hold.
When I was doing the detective work for this blog regarding competitive wrestling, I came across this move against the opponents grappling hold. It is called the Technique of Escape. In a general sense, an escape is accomplished by maneuvering out of a danger or from an inferior position. In the Technique of Escape in the spiritual sense; apply your martial arts experience and grab your weapon; the “helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17}. If your opponents can use “flaming missiles” against you in wrestling, then you will need to “put on God’s complete armor” (Eph. 6:13).