Summary: There are 4 opponents we have to get in the ring with to win our fight of faith: 1. Me 2. You, 3. The World and 4.God. This sermon looks at the battle we have to win against ourselves.
You Have To Get Into The Ring To Win—Me vs. Me
We are starting a new series in which we recognize we have been called to enter into a fight . 1 Timothy 6:12 says for us to fight the good fight of faith.
Like a boxer we can expect our opponents to come at us in different ways, with different strategies and different goals. In the first week its going to be Me vs Me. Then Me vs You. Then Me vs The World and finally Me vs. God. The one person featured each week is Me.
When you think about the sport of boxing, you know before a boxer gets into the ring there is a lot of rigorous training that goes into the process. It’s called getting in shape.
Some of the training is painful but you do it to have the best chance of winning the battle. One thing every boxer knows is that “In order to win, You have to at least get into the ring. You have to face your opponent.”
Anyone who desires to be a champion for Christ, has to get inside the ring against an opponent. At some point you will stand face to face. In the ring there is not only an opponent, but also a referee who determines what you can and cannot do in the fight.
That referee for the believer is none other than Jesus Christ. Here’s the downside to this referee name Jesus. Jesus will call you for fouls and infractions, and low blows that he lets your opponent get away with time and time again.
So you know before you get into the ring, its not necessarily going to be a fair fight. But as a believer, you get into the ring anyways.
Knowing the fight is not going to be fair is one of the reasons, we would rather do our fighting outside the ring where we think the referee can’t see us, and we can level the playing field. However when we do, we can’t become a champion for Christ.
We must also remember, the Referee Jesus will breathe some power into us when we’re going down that He will not breathe into our opponent when we land a solid blow.
In our Old Testament reading, David was a person seeking to follow God, but at this point in his life, he has been labeled as a traitor to the king with an intent to overthrow the government.
So David is forced to hiding in the hills with a group of men who want to follow David. David comes upon this rich guy’s animals and thinks to himself, “now I could just take what I want, but no I will do the right thing.”
I will watch over this rich man’s animals, protect his workers, and keep other thieves away. When the rich guy Nabal finds out what I did, he will be so grateful, he will pay me and my men with blessings for watching over his flocks.
David and his men spend weeks protecting Nabal’s property. When it comes to getting wool from the sheep, and killing some of the animals for a feast, David sends his servants to tell Nabal what a great job he has done protecting him, and now just pay him whatever he thinks the job is worth.
Nabal said, “I didn’t ask him to do it. I don’t know who David is. I’m not giving him any of my property. He tells David men, “to get off his property and don’t come back.”
David is furious. David is thinking, I gave him my time, my men for protection, and my having his back and this is how he treats me. Everybody get your sword. We are going to go back there and kill Nabal.
He paid me back evil for the good I did and he’s going to pay for it. We will kill every male in his house and in his fields. David thinks, he needs to get in the ring with Nabal in order to win this battle.
But what God wants David to do, is to understand is that David needs to get in the ring with David. Because there is a David who wants to do what he wants to do competing with a David who wants to become a man after God’s own heart.
The person who realizes who needs to be in the ring, is Nabal’s wife Abigail. When she finds out how Nabal treated David’s servants after all they had done for them, she prepares all kinds of food, meat, and deserts to take to David and his men. She reaches David and his war party before they reach Nabal’s house and presents them with the food.