Summary: The bell sounds. You can’t stay huddled in the corner. The fight is on and it is going to be a slugfest!
Pt. 1 - Fix the Fight
I grew up in the era of great fights. Boxing had the corner on the fight market. There was no MMA, UFC, or Bellator. Boxing reigned supreme. This led to great spectacles and huge matches. These matches not only had great fighters involved but the marketing matched the level of the fights. This led to event titles like "The Thrilla in Manila" Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, October 1, 1975. "The Rumble in the Jungle" Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman, October 30, 1974 Roberto Duran vs Sugar Ray Leonard, June 20, 1980: "The Brawl in Montreal." Unforgettable moments in fight history. We would gather around the tv to watch these warriors duke it out in the center of the ring to decide who was the world champion.
However, long before Jack Dempsey, Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Iron Mike Tyson, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, Floyd "Money" Mayweather, or Tyson "The Gypsy King" Fury the real and ultimate undisputed champion of the universe was crowned. A challenger descended from the heavenlies. He fell like lightening. He inaccurately accessed his power and strength. He thought he could defeat the undefeatable. He thought he could take the crown. However, Jesus shows up on the fight scene. Unassuming. Humble. Meek. The enemy smiled as he sees an easy victory. He sends this weak opponent to a criminal's cross to strike the final and ultimate knockout punch. But Jesus could take a punch. He gets up off the canvas and by His sacrifice on the cross and the resurrection that we celebrated last week Jesus won the unquestionable victory over the schemes and plans of the enemy. Jesus is the undisputed champion. The outcome is not in question. The result has been established. Jesus counterpunches the enemy, He comes off the ropes and strikes a knockout blow. The 10 count is given. The enemy stays down. The hands of the victor are raised in triumph. You can fast forward to the end and discover that the win was never in doubt. From the foundation of the world The Lamb was slain, and victory was won. The belt had already been draped around the waist of the winner. In other words, . . . The fight was fixed.
However, now we are experiencing some disconcerting and certainly concerning tremors. Values are shifting under our feet. Once secure territory seems to be at risk. Social, political, civil freedom seems to be threatened. The result is that we find ourselves in unprecedented times with heightened, renewed and perhaps even new attacks on every front. No area is left unscathed . . . physical, mental and spiritual. Which should help us to recognize that we are still in a war zone. It is assumed in Scripture that we will recognize this fact. This is why Scripture addresses this fight and identifies clearly our opponent. We learned Ephesians 6:12 like this . . . For we wrestle not against flesh and blood . . . but hear it again like this . . .
Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage.
We must conclude then that the physical and mental aspects of the attack we are experiencing can be attributed to the manifestations of the spiritual. We are in a fight. Although the war is over and victory is confirmed and sure, there is an abundance of subsequent attacks, skirmishes and confrontations as a soundly and completely defeated foe tries to inflict as much damage, pain and carnage as possible as he retreats to eternal defeat. It is for this reason that I must challenge you today to fix the fight. The fight is fixed, but we must fix the fight.
I want to draw your attention back to one of the most famous passages found in Scripture but hone in on a missed or perhaps under scrutinized aspect of the account.
Text: 1 Samuel 17:22-24, 28 (NIV), 29 (KJV)
David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.
When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”