We have covered that, being a Christian, the wrestling is inevitable, it is our duty even. We also have seen that we are NOT to wrestle with God, even though our human nature often disagrees. The next section tells us how to balance the two.
Before I get into the next part, I did want to share an insight my dear hubby shared with me. It honestly never crossed my mind. When I was telling him about the first section on why we wrestle, the first thing he asked me was what was significant about actual Greco-Roman Wrestling from its beginnings. Being a lover of history, I knew the answer, they wrestled naked. Then he made a fabulous parallel with a Christian wrestling with sin. Like the Greco-Roman wrestler, when we wrestle the enemy (or the times we do wrestle God) we are naked before them. They know our sin-nature. They know our weaknesses. The enemy goes straight for those weaknesses every time. Wow! (Thanks, sweetie!)
This ties beautifully into today’s section… How to wrestle.
When battling spiritual the first thing we should always turn to is prayer. As the writer states, we need to Enlist God as our second. God has made a covenant with you as a Christian, but He will wait on the sidelines to be called in. Our armor is not complete without Him. When we call Him in, the back door is shut. No enemy can come behind you; instead, your enemy will fall at your feet.
Secondly, we have to keep training for battle. Things may be lovely and going well for you, but the enemy has not given up. He is lurking in the shadows waiting for you to slip. Wrestlers strive to fasten upon some part of the body which will let them more easily throw their adversary. To prevent this, ancient wrestlers used to anoint their bodies before a match. You should do likewise. What a wonderful word picture with the word anoint! Bathe yourself in prayer and the Word daily!! The enemy won’t be able to grip you because of the anointing “oil” of the Lord! Fabulous! Recognize your weaknesses and put them off daily. Weaknesses are grips for the enemy to latch on to.
Satan will find little welcome where Christ’s love dwells. Love will kindle love, and flame as a wall of fire to keep him away.
Thirdly, as a wrestler, find your advantages and use them wisely. If you are a smart wrestler, you will fall with all your weight upon your enemy when you have him on the ground. Though in most sports the referee would call “Foul!” if you were to strike when your opponent is down, this is not the case with wrestling. The object is to put your opponent on his back and keep him there. The enemy lives by this rule. He will keep you down as long as you let him. Keep God on your side. Keep sin in check. Doing these things, you keep the enemy down.
The writer finishes off this section with encouragement for wrestlers. (This definitely brightened my reading experience.) He basically says be encouraged if you do wrestle. There is strong consolation for the Christian who struggles with the truth of God’s grace and his own inner conflicts with sin. Like Paul, we may wonder why we constantly fall back into sin. Why do we struggle so much? God has a ready answer if we will stop whining long enough to hear it. “Because,” He says, “You are a wrestler, not a conqueror.” God is the conqueror!! We must rely upon Him. Our battles will not be over during our life on this planet. If you never wrestle, maybe you should do a quick spiritual check.
The writer finishes out this section with a few fabulous statements…
And for further comfort, know that although your corrupt nature is the elder, yet it shall serve the younger. (Gen 25:23)
But what tongue can express the joy that will flood the creature at the first sight of God and his eternal home? If we knew more of that future blissful state, we would worry less about our present conflict.