(or, ‘The True Fight’)

The angry clanging of iron against iron resounded throughout the small, Nubian arena. This noise would have been distinctly heard from blocks away if not for the mindless cheering of the audience – a mob of spectators coming from all walks of life, screaming for blood and more blood.

There were at least ten bodies already lying dead in the sand, and two fighters were left standing. One was slightly chubby for a gladiator. He had a horned metal helmet covering his whole head, save for a few holes for breath and eyesight. His movements were tense, nervous – who wouldn’t be nervous? His 10 allies did not fare as well as he did in staying alive against this stranger. He charged with mace and shield, half hoping he could strike his opponent down in one blessed stroke, but praying dearly that it would all be over soon.

Maximus Decimus Meridius came into the arena with one sword, and outnumbered. Now one fighter remained, and he had another sword, wrenched from the hands of a fallen foe. He took one step aside, completely dodging the swing his intimidated and tired enemy took.

It was over as quick as it was gruesome. One slash to the left shoulder disarmed the gladiator. Maximus stabbed him in the chest with both swords, so deep that they stuck in his body. Before he fell to the ground, the seasoned ex-general yanked both swords out, and with surgical precision, he made two final swings, like scissors towards the man’s neck, decapitating him.

The brutality of the lone gladiator was more than a match for the stomachs of the majority of people in the arena, who were now silent. The spiteful Maximus flung his sword towards the more dignified section of the audience, shouting, “Are you not entertained? Are you NOT entertained?!”

“I’m not,” whispered one young man, watching this movie in his laptop. He took advantage of the silence by opening his Bible and beginning to read.

That was me.

At least I wish it was me.

Once again, here we are with another message for myself as much as it is for all of us.

This world has so many temptations, so many instances where our faith is tried. This world is steamrolling over what truth is left, and more and more people are being disheartened, if not distracted from focusing on what matters. So many idols are being made, and it is becoming more of a challenge for us to train our hearts to keep running the race. It is very easy to go with the flow, much more to be merely intimidated.

Yet there remains the option to face the truth of this world hot on its heels towards the end, and to recognize that though we cannot stand up on our own, we see how our God is far mightier than what we humanly perceive as overwhelming.

On the last moments Jesus Christ had with His disciples before He was to endure the awful suffering in the hands of the enemy, He had these comforting words to say:

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJV)

What a confounding, humbling thought to realize that before we are to face what we think are the most difficult times of our lives, our Savior has already overcome the world! We may not know what will happen specifically in our own situations but we can say, by truth, that He will make it all happen for the good of those who love Him! It will all ultimately result in is getting closer and closer to His sweet presence… And when we are to take our final breaths, we know that each one we take is a distinct step closer to finally being with our Savior, Jesus Christ…

Take heart, and keep fighting the good fight! If the enemy’s temptations and distractions seem to be more intense, take heart because he only has so little time left! Stand on Christ, the only solid Rock! He indeed is our firm foundation!

We are not to fight the good fight by ourselves. The Holy Spirit is with us to comfort us (John 14:16), reveal truth to us (John 14:26); He is not a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound judgment! (2 Timothy 1:7). Jesus Christ is with us until the ends of this age! (Matthew 28:20)

To God, to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, be all the glory, honor, and praise, forever and ever. Amen!

Shared in יהוה bless you!

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