One of the best boxers of my generation, Roy Jones, Jr., was named the “Fighter of the Decade” in the 1990s. Having held several conversations with him, and contrary to his boxing persona, he is a very nice guy. But when he got into the ring, his demeanor totally changed. He was not the guy that was willing to hold a conversation, take pictures, sign autographs, and crack jokes. He didn’t get into the ring to talk his opponents into letting him win. He didn’t try to convince the other boxers that they should take into consideration how bad he wanted to win the fight. None of his opponents said, “You know what, you can have this one”, then walk away. Roy Jones had to break a sweat, take a few hits, and literally fight during every match. Paul describes a similar fight that he experienced, but this fight happened inside of him and it also happens inside of us.
One of the reasons I enjoy the letters Paul wrote is because he is so candid. He expresses his struggle to the point that as Christians, we can’t do anything but say “I agree” or as the church folk would say it “Amen”. In Romans 7:21-23 (NASV), Paul tells us about the war that he experiences. Paul writes, “I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.” Just like Paul, how many of us really want to do good, but find it so hard when our flesh wants something totally different?
In Galatians 5:17 (NIV) this war is explained more. “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” I hope that everyday as we all involved in this this same war, that we are putting up a fight. That we won’t allow our body and carnal mind to just push our spirit man around. That when we are tempted, and we will be tempted, we make decisions to strengthen our inner man in our walk as we strive to be more like Christ. (Romans 8:5,11; Galatians 5:22-23, 6:8; Ephesians 3:16) Find comfort in knowing to know that you aren’t the only one involved in a war, but you are the one who determines who the victor of that war will be. With Phillipians 1:27, I encourage you to be a good contender of the faith. In the spirit of K-Drama and Sho Baraka, Roy Jones on em!
Check back for more devotionals on the 1st and 15th of each month.