Have you ever watched a Sumo match? Holy cow—what a ground shaking event! Two men of huge girth stand apart from each other in the middle of a large circle wearing only loincloths. Each warrior attempts to expel the other outside the ring by exerting clever technique combined with brute force. Sumo wrestling is the national sport and pastime of the Japanese. It is a more elegant, ancient and simplified version of America’s pro-wrestling.
As a young man bound for West Point, I knew that I would be wrestling against a fierce opponent. His name was Calculus. He threw terror in my heart. Worse yet, I had to wrestle his cousins, Physics, Electrical Engineering and Solid Dynamics. If any of these gladiators bested me, I was at risk of being hurled from a ring that provided me a paid education—one I could never have afforded. But I did not have to face these foes alone. Before I entered the college ring, I memorized a Bible verse that seemed highly appropriate for my circumstances. “I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved” (Psalm 16:8 NKJV).
Life is full of rings we must enter and do battle in. When we wrestle in our own strength we get beat up! Our sinful desires cause us to lose. Evil overpowers us because we try and compete alone. God never intended for us to fight solo. Unlike the sumo wrestler who has no one to tag for help, we have the ability to call on our Heavenly Father. In His presence, under His leadership, we cannot be defeated.
Many Christians mistakenly believe that if they will just read their Bible once a day, spend a few moments in prayer and attend church once a week, they will be able to prosper and succeed. While those activities are vital, they are rendered puny if we don’t understand how to maintain God’s presence. We must determine to bring God into the everyday activities of our thoughts, our work, and our relationships if we are to stand fast in the ring of holiness. Christianity is not a formula! It is a relationship that calls us to know Christ and to set Him before us as Lord, moment-by-moment. He will never leave us, or turn His back on us unless we choose to go into the ring without Him. Set Him before you and win!
Psalm 16:11--You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.
The reality of God’s presence is not dependent on any place, but only dependent upon the determination to set the Lord always before us. Our problems come when we refuse to bank on the reality of His presence.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©1999 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)