Pastor Joe Miller IV
I’m not a big sports guy, but if there is one sport that I do enjoy watching it is MMA, Mixed Martial Arts. One on one, no teammates to blame, no bat, ball, glove, net, goal, club, or puck. Only one referee to deal with. One man against one man - the only tools are the ones you were born with. One man imposing his will on the other until a physical or mental submission. I have been watching MMA for a lot of years, and there are common characteristics of each match. Both opponents start out with a winning attitude and plan until someone gets hurt which changes everything. There is a saying: ‘Everyone has a plan until he gets hit.’ It seems there is a three-step process to a loss. First, you get hurt. Second, knowing that your opponent now has the upper hand, you go into desperation mode which very seldom works out and was really never part of the original plan. Third, you lose heart (or sometimes consciousness) and the will to win. One ultimately quits, and there is a saying I was taught for as long as I can remember: ‘Quitters never win.’ I see a parallel between physical battles and spiritual wars. As Christians, we are born of God and filled with the Spirit.
1 John 4:14-15, "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God."
The word ‘dwelleth’ means to be present with and not just sometimes, but always. God reminds us throughout His Word that He will never leave, nor forsake His own. Not just that, but greater is He (God) that is (present) in His children than he that is in the world. God is greater and larger than anything the world throws our way or temptation that we encounter. Whatever war you are in, He is there with you. We are the children of God, not intended to lose these battles but live a victorious life on earth.
1 John 5:4-5, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"
The word ‘overcometh’ mentioned three times in these two verses means to subdue or to have victory over - the opposite of being submitted or quitting. I have been a dad for 34 years, married for 35 years, working for over 40 years. I have a brother and a sister. I’ve been going to church and dealing with people as long as I can remember. I have dealt with Joe Miller IV (me) and all of his temptations, shortcomings, fears, insecurities, sins, weaknesses, you name it since I was born. All this to say, life is not easy, and I get it. There have been more times than I can count that I have been weary in well doing and had to be reminded. (2 Thessalonians 3:13, "But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.") The word ‘weary’ here means to be desperate and lose heart. Been there. But I love those two little words ‘be not’ - a personal choice to not quit.
I don’t know where you are right now or what battle you might be dealing with, but let’s be reminded by the Word of God and each other to expect the war. Make godly choices, not emotional ones, to come alongside one another, do not quit, and remember you are a child of the King.