Wrestling in Spirituality

This physical life is tough… it is complicated… confusing… awkward… and often just contains way too much heartache, disappointment, and emotional struggles that really just lead us to conclude it is way, WAY better to just be ‘fat, dumb, and happy’.  It is a cop-out way to live your life, but many find it the easiest way to deal with the subtle anxiousness they sense from facing evil, anger, and even just ugly calamity all around us.

The spiritual side of our lives is quite complicated too… I mean… why wouldn’t it be since it is non-physical?  Were you to try describing the spiritual side of your life, you would have more “uh”, “I mean”, and “it feels like” portions of your description than actual wording that could help someone else get a grip on their own spirituality.  Therein, we tend to avoid the subject, let alone the concept altogether.

Me and My Shadow

I know…  life is much easier just being ignorant or at least less aware of the evil crap going on around us.  As Christians, this works to a certain point. 

As non-Christians this fuels your attitude/belief that God doesn’t exist or care.  Neither are good for your life.   But, there is always that weird shadow following you around… hovering… feeling like you are about to be pounced on.

Wait… both are actually ‘good’ for your life, to a point. I mean, that whole ‘fat, dumb, and happy’ thing works great for the shallow hearted… for the faint-of-heart… for the weak-minded, weak-spirited, “wanna-be Christian” folks on this planet. And… you ‘can’ get by your entire life not ever caring or knowing that you DO have a choice… you can wrestle with spirituality with certainty!

One of the more prominent scriptures that discuss this is Ephesians 6:12, which states;

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.

Ephesians‬ ‭6:12

Too often, we don’t realize the craftiness of the enemy against whom we fight.  We get all tied up thinking or feeling as though we see angels, hear people from the dead… even have real experiences that convince us that we don’t really need God.  See… we easily adapt a belief that we are already in touch with spiritual beings, angels, or we even just have that warm fuzzy feeling all is right with the world…  opting to remain ignorant, or at least remain innocent-ish.

We are not aware that even Satan can pull off these ‘just like God’ appearances!

Wait… WHAT?

Right… Satan has power too… has dominion on this world… has the sly, craftiness to mimic God. This can trick you to believing a false hope… a half–truth promise… a fallacy.  See… in 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, Paul was telling folks that too many people have already begun to believe and trust other spirits… other preachings… other ways that are not God’s ways.  He says;  “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” 

Spiritual Warfare is an odd concept for most.  Personally, I don’t actively seek out a wrestling match with Satan, evil, or anything high-n-mighty like that… rather… I find myself just struggling…  just wrestling… just fighting against shadows, it seems.

I recently read in Romans‬ ‭7:23;

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.‭‭


Romans‬ ‭7:23‬‬‬

OK…  granted… that scripture may not make sense at first glance… second glance… even after the 20th glance!  The core premise is that our lives are constantly being tugged at by the spiritual calamity going on in this world… and spiritual warfare sounds ominous… sounds too complicated and certainly ‘above my pay-grade’, as most would agree.  So… we plod along content with the fat, dumb, and happy approach to life.

The norm of the people around us (and maybe even you) is to just blame Karma, Fate, “the gods”, and even Bad Mojo for the nonsense going on in your life. That sense of being attacked, being targeted, even being singled-out for some nasty turmoil event in your life…  The Bible does say that the rain falls on the good and the bad (Matthew 5:45).  When things are ugly and super evil or even mystical, we shy away… we dismiss it away… we even hunker into the corner of our lives hoping this ‘phenomenon’ doesn’t see us… doesn’t come closer to us… doesn’t even give us the time day… leaving us alone is our hope/fear!  Too many horror movies have filled in the blanks of our imagination and we now have an image or a scenario of probability that is believable (fear does that to us).

We essentially lost our innocence… our pathetic minds have imagined enough to convince our spirits that anything spiritual is off limits, spooky, unpredictable, and especially out-to-kill…  that we should automatically be afraid of evil things and shrink into a cowering mess when calamity arises. Well… welcome to being in the world!  Satan has dominion of this space and has the power to conjure up a slew of nonsense to keep you scared, afraid, frozen and just outright defiant to any help/security Jesus can provide!

Remember the story of David when he faced Goliath? (1 Samuel 17:45-47)  David was empowered by the very spirit of God and no one and no thing was going to threaten his family, his people, and his God!  Forty days Goliath had taunted the mighty armies of Israel, leaving them trembling and running for their skin.  David would have NONE of that. He knew the power and might of the Lord our God and was not about to stand by and let this ‘little man’ Goliath be defiant of God’s people.  No evil is big enough, strong enough, fearful enough…  a well-placed-stone can solve the problem, toot-sweet!

You too are empowered with the very same Spirit of the almighty Lord… none shall harm you, ever!  How?  Sort of easy, really… but hard, too!  The Bible tells us, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James‬ ‭4:7‬  That key word ‘resist’ is essential.  But, notice that it doesn’t say ‘…resist the devil until he gives up‘, or ‘…resist the devil until he loses interest‘, or ‘…resist the devil and show him your game-face‘.  

He WILL flee, is what that passage reminds us!  Think on it this way, if you are bold enough to resist the devil, you DO have the Holy Spirit watching guard over you and Satan can see that from ‘miles away’, as it were.   Watch this passage;

And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

Matthew 8:28-32

Notice that Jesus was merely ‘coming to the other side’ of this region and the ‘two possessed with devils’ began the whole “what have we to do with thee?” line of questioning!  Satan WILL see you coming and he WILL tremble!  How is THAT for a change?  NONE of the SciFi movies depict it that way, these days… that is not a popular presentation… it doesn’t sell tickets… have pizzazz… make us shirk in fear!

Just because you are a child of God though, does not automatically make you impervious… keep you from harm…  put a shield over you.  Some special cloak of protection. No…  the Bible reminds us that we have to take on an active role of preparation… a posture of training ourselves… a life of exposure to His training.  See…  Ephesians‬ ‭6:11 tells us, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The whole armour is fully described in  Ephesians 6:13-17  (get some time to refresh your memory and grasp these pieces).

Jesus did it, and so can we.  I know…. He is the Son of God and came from Heaven and all that holy stuff…  makes it hard to imagine we too have the same power… the same boldness… the same fortitude.  But, Jesus did promise us;

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.‭‭

John‬ ‭16:33
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