MORE THAN A CONQUEROR (PART I)
By Akin Ojumu
Let me tell you a little bit about the original meaning of the word “WRESTLE” in Ephesians 6:12.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
In Ancient Rome, when wrestlers went into the ring to wrestle only one was supposed to come out alive. So, the wrestler’s goal was to get two hands around the neck of his opponent and put him in a stranglehold. He would have to press the opponent’s shoulders and his head to the ground for a certain period of time in order for the opponent to blank out and die. If only his shoulders touched the ground but not his head, the opponent would live to fight again.
You see, to live for Christ as a Christian in this world is not an easy peasy walk in the park or a waltzing through a meadow picking daisies. The gate to Christian living is like a turnstile and the road to the Christian life is treading the path on the side of a steep mountain. As Christians, we are engaged in a wrestling fight of life and death with Satan and his demons; it is a perpetual spiritual warfare that has no interlude.
From the day we accepted Jesus Christ into our lives as our Lord and Savior, we become foot soldiers in the war against the forces of evil. Every day of our lives is a battle against Satan and all his demons. Satan’s goal is to put us in a stranglehold, hold us down shoulders and head, until we choke to death. That’s his objective.
On a daily basis, we are in the thick of the fight against demonic adversaries. Every waking moment is like walking through spiritual minefields. All around us, hiding in dark corners, are demonic snipers that we can’t see or perceive because they belong to a supernatural realm beyond our ability to conceive who are trying to blow our heads into smithereens.
In this spiritual warfare there is no letting up and there is never a ceasefire or a truce. Our enemies in this war are not fellow human beings – although sometimes they are used. However, the real enemies are Satan and his demons (i.e., principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies). We are wrestling against an empire of demons who have been around since before the foundation of the earth.
These enemies don’t ever go on holidays or take time off from the battlefield. It’s a war that rages on in perpetuity. Their objective is to derail our faith and testimony and destroy our divine plan and purpose. They try to achieve these objectives using several schemes – i.e., the wiles of the devil.
In very subtle ways Satan and his demons create doubts in our minds as they did to Eve, they raise persecutions against us, hinder our Christian service, infiltrate the church with demonic doctrines and false teachings, tempt us into relying on our power, strength, and ability instead of God’s power, strength, and ability.
Our spiritual foes cause us to lie and cheat, tempt us with materialism, lure us into sexual sins and all kinds of immorality, and lead us into worldliness. They create pride in our minds, bring discouragement and despair, weaken our faith, focus us on religion and meaningless rituals, occupy us with programs and seminars, and cause us to build another Tower of Babel in the form of an empire and corporation of religiosity.
The longer, wiser, older, and more matured we are in our faith, the fiercer the battle gets.
(Excerpts from Pastor John MacArthur’s Sermon).