I held my breath, tense, as I watched Viktor pummel Adonis in the ring. Adonis stumbled and fell. Rocky yelled, “Get up!” He pulled himself up slowly by the ropes, swaying slightly, but then stood firm. He planted his feet, raised his arms up, and allowed a few punches for a moment, before throwing one of his own.
I’m not usually a fan of seeing grown men beat the living daylights out of each other, but the Rocky/Creed series of movies took root in me from a young age and planted seeds of rising up and overcoming odds. It’s not just the boxing part, but the relationships and lessons learned in the journey.
Watching weary Adonis stand in that ring, round after round, utterly exhausted and busted up, reminded me of how God calls us to stand firm in our faith.
The analogy of the boxing ring seems so fitting for this Christian life. When we become Christians, we are sometimes thrown into the ring ready or not. I don’t know about you, but when I first became a Christian, the bell hardly rang when the enemy came out swinging and hit hard.
The blow of cancer is enough to sweep you off your feet and curl up in a fetal position. I became a Christian as a result of my diagnosis, but I was not fully prepared for the fight. Are we ever ready? God shows off when He works through our weaknesses. When we can’t possibly do life on our own, that is when God shines if we allow Him to take over our life.
Examples of Standing Firm in the Bible
God brought strong Christians into my life to support me at exactly the right time. I couldn’t stand on my own and God knew it. Just like when He called Aaron and Hur to hold up Moses’ arms during the fight with the Amalekites, He led me to an “Aaron” and “Hur”. Moses was called to simply stand, with arms lifted high. If he could do it, so could I.
The whole book of Philippians is an exhortation letter from Paul (who is writing from prison). Paul encouraged the people of Philippi to stand firm in their faith. He knew the strength of God can only come from His Word.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! (Philippians 4:1)
In Ephesians, He talks of the Armor of God and how we should prepare for battling the enemy. The one thing that strikes me is He does not call us to run. He calls us to stand firm. We stand with the armor of God protecting us.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-17)
In the seven verses above, He says to stand or stand firm four times. The only offensive weapon in all the armor is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
When Jesus fasted and prayed in the wilderness and Satan arrived, what did Jesus use to thwart the enemy? God’s word. Jesus stood his ground while also speaking Scripture to fight. In that short exchange between Jesus and Satan, Jesus answered him three times with “It is written” followed by direct quotes of Scripture. He had an answer for every temptation and did not back down from Satan.
3 Ways to Fight the Enemy
We will all be thrown into the ring at one time or another. In fact, it’s a guarantee. Boldly climb into the ring knowing God is fighting for you. The three actions we are called to do is to:
1. Clothe yourself with the armor of God.
2. Stand firm. Literally, plant your feet with the confidence that God is on your side.
3. Speak God’s Word
God says we will have trouble in this life, but He has overcome it.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:3)