“Most of us aren’t defeated in one decisive battle. We are defeated one tiny, insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we should really be.“- Jocko Willink – Navy Seal, Author
They say that everyone is fighting a battle that no one knows about. Do you ever get tired of fighting? I do, even for good and righteous causes. Sometimes it seems just to be present as yourself in the world is a dogfight. The skirmishes can be exhausting, especially those that come to you unawares. It’s exhausting because it’s meant to be. I’m reminded of Daniel’s prophetic words about the Antichrist who will one day rule this world, “He will speak words against the Most High [God] and wear down the saints of the Most High, and he will intend to change the times and the law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, [two] times, and half a time [three and one-half years].” (Daniel 7:25 AMP) I never used to think of wearing us out as a tactic of the enemy. Now that I’m older, I’ve seen it over and over again. A BATTLE is defined as a sustained fight between large organized armed forces; a lengthy and difficult conflict or struggle. You might not have thought of a battle as a long-term engagement in warfare, but it is. Navy Seal Jocko Willink states above, that one of the enemy’s objectives is to chip away at who you really are with a series of tiny, insignificant scuffles and clashes.
Growing up, my family used to gather to watch boxing. We loved to see all the greats: Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Joe Frazier and of course, Muhammad Ali. In the famous Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman, (yeah, the smiling grill guy); Ali used a strategy infamously called the Rope A Dope— a boxing tactic where he pretended to be trapped against the ropes, goading Foreman into throwing tiring, ineffective punches. I didn’t realize until just now, that Ali also might have been calling George Foreman a dope, LOL! The Apostle Paul said I don’t fight this spiritual war ineffectively, like one “beating the air,” (1 Cor. 9:26) As my family watched the fight, I remember some screaming at the TV for Ali to “Get off the ropes!” to stop letting Foreman beat him mercilessly. George Foreman had one of the deadliest punches in boxing. Ali just kept enduring the assault until…Foreman was worn out and then, Ali served him a knockout blow. That’s what Jesus did when He died that brutal death on the cross and was buried. The devil thought he had Him…but when Jesus rose, it was victory!
Maybe it seems like you’re getting plummeted from every side, like you’re on the ropes and the enemy is winning. Perhaps he’s used people and situations to beat you up and sap your strength. As long as you’re still here; you may be down, but you’re not out! Are you exhausted with fighting? Are you “weary in well-doing?” (Gal. 6:9) Surrender! Let the LORD fight for you. God told king Jehoshaphat when he was surrounded, “‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chron. .20:15)