I’m a fan of wrestling. I know, I know it’s fake. I know, I know, I’ve just lost several of you right now. However, hang in there with me. When I was in youth group, we had a leader who was a wrestler, no professional like you see on WWE, but one who did some wrestling in school. He would take some of us on Sunday afternoon and show us some moves until it was time for the evening worship service. It was more character building than anything. I then realized that I was more of a sofa kind of wrestler than a real wrestler.

What I didn’t realize at the time, was that those moves, those lessons, would stick with me for the rest of my life. I have used the moves that he taught me over and over again with the youth that I have taught through the years. I’ve taught them to the boys in my youth groups and taught them some of the same life lessons that he taught me and have helped me be successful in life.

What are those lessons? Well, we’d have to get into a wrestling match and I’d have to teach them to you. However, one of them is to keep your eye on your enemy and move in swiftly to catch him off balance so that you can throw him to the ground to pin him. That’s a lesson that I’ve applied many times in ministry, in life, and when dealing with the devil. Okay, I can hear the wheels of your mind spinning right now, “Catch the devil off guard? Come on pastor…You can’t expect us to believe that you can catch the devil off guard….really?” Well, maybe he isn’t caught off guard, but I do believe that I defeat him in my life when I utilize these methods.

You see, in verse 12 of Ephesians 6 it says, “This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world.” We’ve already established that we’re in a war. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that we’re to put on the Whole Armor of God. We know that there aren’t any new tricks in the enemy’s book. However, we have to realize that we’re in a wrestling match. The problem is that we forget who our opponent really is.

This match is not a physical match, even though we make it one a lot of the times. We end up fighting each other when we need to be fighting the root of the issue, the devil. A commentator Wuest has a descriptive picture of our great spiritual struggle:

“In the word ‘wrestle (pale), Paul uses a Greek athletic term. Thayer defines as follows: ‘a contest between two in which each endeavors to throw the other, and which is decided when the victor is able to press and hold down his prostate antagonist, namely, hold him down with his hand upon his neck.’ When we consider that the loser in a Greek wrestling contest had his eyes gouged out with resulting blindness for the rest of his days, we can form some conception of the Ephesian Greek’s reaction to Paul’s illustration. The Christian’s wrestling against the powers of darkness is no less desperate and fateful.”

The point that I’d like for us to see here is that our struggle is not against each other. Our enemy is not human or physical. Our enemy is spiritual. We have spiritual forces that possess unbelievable power. Look at what the verse says: “Against rulers, authorities, powers that govern this world of darkness, spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world.” This ought to reveal some very clear things to us.

The forces of evil are powerful forces. The thrust of this verse is to stress the enormous power of evil forces that stand against us. When my friends and I would gather at the youth leaders house, it was just 1 on 1. However, what we’re talking about here is maybe 100 to 1. This is no small battle. Look at the next point, the forces of evil are numerous. Rulers, authorities, powers, all convey the idea of a large number of evil forces who are struggling against us. That should say something about you as a believer. Isn’t there a verse that says, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) If God is so great, which He is, and He lives in the heart of every believer, which He does, then you have the victory through Jesus Christ!!!!!! That’s why the enemy is sending so many forces to fight you. He knows that he has to send more and more against you, because you have a powerful force in you that when utilized, that force is unstoppable.

Now, there’s something that we need to realize as well. The forces of evil are well organized. There is a government or a hierarchy of evil. Again, look at the verse, “rulers, authorities, powers that govern this world of darkness, spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world.” This all points toward a ranking of spiritual forces with enormous authority, position and rule. But never forget that you have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit living in you. Then you have the forces of evil who are the rulers of the darkness of this world. Darkness in the Bible means the ignorance of truth and reality, of the real nature and purpose of things. For example…

  • What is the source of man and his world?
  • Where have man and his world come from?
  • What is the purpose of man and his world? Why do we and our world exist?
  • What is the end of us and our world? Is there even a place to go after this life—another world, another life?

Darkness is not knowing these things; it is being ignorant of them. But, moving swiftly, catching darkness off-guard, we know the truth. Light is knowing God and His Son, Jesus. We know that God and Christ stand as the Source and Purpose and end of man and our world. Light is also knowing the truth and reality of mankind and his world: that God created all for Himself, and that He loves and saves all to live with Him eternally—IF we will only believe and trust Him. Again, a swift move that will catch the enemy off guard.

The forces of evil are the rulers of darkness, the rulers who blind our minds, unless we’re swift to move into the Light of God. Remember that our wrestling match is not against flesh and blood, not against each other, it’s against our spiritual enemy. Throw him off-guard. Send him to the ground. Pin him, by putting on the Whole Armor of God, and shining The Light in the midst of the darkness.

Until next time,

Pastor Rob

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