You ever have one of those days…when you feel like you can’t go on? Where you can’t go one more day. You feel defeated…and you are ready to throw in the towel. Well recently…that’s been my attitude. But God. Yes…God. God knew and God saw my defeated spirit…and sent just the right message, at the right time. He did so in the form of a message from Focus on the Family.
On Wednesday, March 15th, Focus on the Family aired a broadcast with Pastor Herb Lusk…from Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia. Pastor Lusk was speaking at a Focus on the Family event…about staying in the fight. Defeated, knocked down, bludgeoned, bloody…but get back up and go one more round.
Well…it was just the message I needed at the time. I was driving to work, listening to that message…and was bawling like a baby. It really touched my soul deeply. So…I listened to the program again…and this time I jotted down some notes from Pastor Lusk’s speech. So…for those of you who are feeling defeated…read the notes below then click over to the One Place to hear the Focus on the Family broadcast from March 15th. You will be encouraged.
The church…must have the Zeal of a Zelig.
Everywhere Christians go…you have to make a decision. Don’t be passive about what you believe. Christianity today involves confrontation.
The church today is not in the defensive mode, but offensive.
Have you ever seen a passive gate? Gates don’t attack somebody. The child of God today…must rush the gates of hell. Have the spirit of a soldier. We wrestle not against flesh and blood.
Time to take things back. The devil has set up strongholds…even in our churches. The devil is crazy enough to come into our homes and churches. Are you crazy enough to stand up against him?
Ephesians 6:11-13 – 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.
Unlike boxing…wrestling is up close and personal. In boxing you jab and get out. Wrestling you’ve got to get close. Hand to hand combat. You can’t get in and get out anymore. Have the spirit of a soldier and take back our country and our families from the enemy.
We need the guts of a gladiator. Be prepared to die. For me to live is Christ…to die is gain. We need to die to self. Be prepared to die. You can not hurt a man who believes that death is a positive option. There is nothing you can do with a man or woman like that. You can’t bribe them, you can’t buy him, you can’t turn him off, you can’t break his spirit, and you can’t take away his spirit.
Think of the story of Jacob…who wrestled with an angel all night. He wouldn’t let go. And the angel tried to call a time out but Jacob said no. Jacob wouldn’t let go until the angel blessed him. The kingdom of heaven needs to advance forcefully.
Are you willing to struggle? Paul said I press towards the prize of the high calling of Christ Jesus. To press means you have to push, bear down…it requires effort to press.
Like an athlete…we judge the effectiveness of a running back by the yard he makes after he’s been hit. YAC yards…yards after contact. Anybody can gain yards running through a large hole unopposed. How many can you make yards after you’ve been hit? When the bottom falls out? How many yards can you gain after you’ve been hit? When the bottom falls out, the road get rough and the going gets tough? And the hills are hard to climb and folks start calling you names and the crush is on…how many yard can you make then?
Every child of God ought to be able to make YAC yards. After you’ve been talked about, after you’ve lost your job, after your sickness. Job did this…after he lost it all he said, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.”
Years ago there was prize fighter called John L. Sullivan…the best heavy weight champion of the world at that time. He went up against a pipsqueak…given a thousand to one odds to beat John L. Sullivan.
Round one…he was hit so hard his whole body shook. He went over to his corner and his trainer asked him how he was doing and he said alright…but that first shot he hit me with I could feel it from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet…but I said to myself…if I could go just one more round.
Next round…John L. Sullivan hit him so hard he came up off the ground…and he came down hard. He fell on his back…and was saved by the bell. They drug him over to his corner again. The trainer said…you want me to throw in the towel? He said no…let me see if I can do it one more round.
He came back out on the next round and John L. Sullivan hit him and cut his eyes. His eyes were so filled with pus that he couldn’t see. He went back over to the corner…and they took razor blades and slit his eyes so he could see. The trainer said…do you want me to throw in the towel? He said…no, no, no…just one more round.
He went out the next round and John L. Sullivan hit him so hard that literally he was praying that it would be the knockout punch. But the punch didn’t knock him out and he said to himself…if I could just make one more round.
It was the longest prize fight in history at that time. He went back out again the next round…and got knocked down three times. And guess what he said? Just one more round.
He came out in the twentieth round…bludgeoned, standing and trying to cover himself. And guess what he said? Just one more round.
Twenty five rounds of fighting…and over and over again he said to himself…just one more round. Over and over again he said to himself…one more round. Bloody and bludgeoned he said to himself…just one more round. Eyes cut…but one more round. Legs weak…but one more round. Too tired to stand…but one more round.
That last round he came out and hit him…and knocked John L. Sullivan out.
Church we have a John L. Sullivan in our midst. He is the devil…and he is a liar and the truth is not in him. When he hits you…say one more round. Just one more round, just let me stand one more round. Give me strength, just one more time. One more round…one more time.
And you will knock him out!