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Faith Wrestling
by Alan Shulver
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We are all wrestlers, we all have our foes that we must face and although the victory has already been won, we must still withstand the battle, because the enemy will try to convince us that in fact the victory is his. As Christians we have three opponents that we struggle with on a regular if not daily basis. While each of us has our own sins that we wrestle with we face even bigger opponents than that. These advisories of sin are named Ignorance and Doubt and even if you try to deny that you deal with these opponents on a regular basis chances are you wrestle with them more than you are willing to admit.
How we combat each of these opponents will be different. Fighting doubt requires a different strategy and maneuvers than fighting ignorance and an even greater strategy than fighting sin. Before you try to convince yourself and others that you don’t fight sin, that you have it under control, allow me to tell you that, that very statement is the enemy convincing you not to fight, for we all sin and all short of the glory of God, whether we commit physical sins or we simply struggle with sinful negligence.
In fact the statement that you have control over sin is actually evidence that you are struggling with the worst opponent of them all, ignorance. Ignorance blinds us of the truth, as in the statement that you have sin under control, and causes us to drop our guard so that the enemy can have victory over us without our even realizing it. Ignorance tells us that we are ok, that we are doing fine on our own and that we do not need to communicate with the creator, that we can survive daily without interaction with the very one who put breath in our lungs.
Ignorance alienates us from the very one who created us; it tells us that we don’t need him, that we can survive on our own, that the word of God is meant for others, but not for ourselves. Ignorance tells us that we don’t need to read the bible, that we can live perfectly good lives without opening the Good Book or studying his words. These strategies are very effective and cause many of us to fall short of the victory that has already been won. By following ignorance’s convincing arguments we separate ourselves from God and therefore cease to fight the enemy and basically, just lie there on the proverbial mat and allow him to pin us. By believing what Ignorance tells us we fail to follow the simple commands and we fail to execute the proper maneuvers to win the fight. Or when we turn our back on God then we are indeed allowing the enemy to win, for without a close and personal relationship with him we cannot hope to win over ignorance, doubt and sin.
The very foundation of Ignorance’s strategy is to convince us that God either does not exist or that he exists for others and that we do not need to have a personal relationship with him. The pother thing Ignorance does is tell us that even if we have a relationship with God and keep ignorance under control in regards to our own personal relationship to Christ that we do not need to be concerned about our neighbors, or brothers and sisters.
This second strategy is often more effective and damaging than the fist. Our duty to inform those around us of the Glory and victory comes only through knowing Jesus and knowing him personally. We are called to teach the truth and to proclaim a great message about God. We want people who hear our messages to move from being ignorant to being knowledgeable about the truth. Such heartfelt informing is application of a submission hold to the enemy. Therefore we must stand strong not only in our owns lives against ignorance but we must also align with others in our lives and instruct them how to cripple ignorance in their lives. By tag teaming with our loved ones and by standing in their corner we can arm them with the necessary strategy and skills to render the enemy helpless.
We must stand strong in unison against ignorance and not allow it to cause us to submit to its ways. In doing so, we must stay aware of Ignorance’s tag team partner, Doubt. Doubt can sweep in where Ignorance has been defeated and tell us that what we believe and what we do as Christians is pointless, and unnecessary to survive.
Doubt takes over where Ignorance falls short. When we think we have ignorance under control Doubt steps in and makes us question the very beliefs that we profess. As Christians we may hear the word of god and read the word but when we fail to control Doubt then we simply allow it to enter our minds and tell us things that try to convince us that what we believe and the word we hear or read is simply either not true or not pertinent to our personal existence.
This strategy can be the most crippling and harmful of all strategies of the enemy, for when doubt steps in then Ignorance will be close to follow. Doubt is so sneaky and under-handed that often we fail to realize that it is doubt we are fighting at all. Doubt sneaks in in such a way that we fail to realize that it is doubt and we certainly don’t confess our doubts, and that is where he gets the greatest victory over us.
In order to defeat Doubt and to gain true victory we must consider the Scriptures carefully and adhere to the truth that remains in them. We must diligently study the word of God and arm ourselves with the truth against all Doubt. When we study intently the word of God then we find the answers lingering in the corner of the ring waiting to provide us with the necessary strategy to achieve victory.
By reading the word and sharing it with others with conviction and determination then we can turn away from Doubt and turn to full hearted belief in the truth. One of my favorite movie lines of all times can be applied perfectly to this situation. When Doubt and its tag team partner force you into the comer then you simply need to stand tall and shout into the face of Doubt and Ignorance, “you can’t handle the truth”.
The enemy must fall down in defeat to the truth and submit to the undeniable and infallible word of God. So in order to achieve victory you must arm yourself with the truth AND proclaim the truth to others. When you arm yourself with the truth and proclaim it then you will have the necessary tools to win over Ignorance and Doubt. However to maintain the victory and to pin the opponent we must stick to the truth and encompass it in all aspects of our lives. This means that we must avoid sin and admit the existence of Ignorance and Doubt and read, study and apply the armor of God, which comes only from knowing the Truth that lies in the word of God. Victory comes from faith and faith from knowing the word of God.

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