WE WRESTLE NOT
The three words above would in some contexts be taken as a complete statement of fact. We do not wrestle -would the sense.
I am lifting these three words, however, out of St.Paul's letter to a church in a very pagan city. As originally written it was this way: "We wrestle, not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against rulers of wickedness in heavenly places." (Ephesians 6)
IE - we (the whole church in Ephesus and by extension, all of us who are followers of Jesus)
we are in a wrestling match, all of us
- but it is not people that we are matched against.
It is the evil powers behind them that are really casting the slurs and putting the moves on us continually....seeking to wither our faith, discourage our spirits, sap our energies.
Somewhere, a long time ago, I saw a comic rountine (the three stooges?) where some in the ring were not wrestling but while seeming to wish for less, were being tossed here and there around the ring.
Funny - if it's the commedian - but not if its us.
Recently I felt myself to be very much in a struggle....intense and mind captivating. Fear-producing and withering. And I fought back not heeding this verse, but in murmered prayers for help and waiting for the moment to pass.
In a sense I resisted, but in a true sense: I wrestled not.
And it was really a hard time.
This passage is calling us to wrestle against the powers set to do us in.
Here is a handful of helpful ideas for spiritual wrestlers:
1. Speak the name of Jesus out loud and with force. His is the name above every name.
2. Resist the enemy and he will flee. Attach "no" to what you are saying...and "get out of here " and "be gone"...whatever words put force from your spirit into the match, making things clear to all concerned.
3. "Stand"...do not get lured into his tricks or dazzled by his "moves." Just stand devoting your energy to the building up of your faith and focus.
4. Keep reminding yourself, no matter the ups and downs, that "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."
5. And remember, in a hundred years, we'll all be in an eternal place, Jesus will still be reigning and none of us will even remember this which now seems so huge.
Wrestling...on the team with you.