Are you a contender? (Ephesians 6:11, 13)

(To get the full effect of this article, it is recommended that you watch Marlon Brando in one of his most famous scenes in the movie “On the Waterfront” where “he coulda been a contender.” You may get nothing more from this article, but you will see a brilliant actor at the pinnacle of his craft.)

He coulda been a contender! I mean, this kid had fists like iron and threw a left hook that would take down the walls of a city. He could fell a tree with that hook! Yes, he coulda been a contender, if only the other guy didn’t punch. Well, that’s not really fair. In addition to being a powerful puncher, he could also take some punishment and still remain standing. And that was a good thing because he just could not keep his guard up. “He coulda been a contender,” if he had only been able to keep his guard up. But he couldn’t do it. And so, before he could launch that lethal left hook, he was usually lying on his back as the referee counted him out.

What’s the point of this story? Nobody can be a victorious disciple if they can’t keep their guard up. That is, you will never be a “contender” if you do not have your defenses up. In Ephesians 6:11, Paul says, “Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (13) Therefore, take up the full armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” The disciple who would be a “contender” must know the devil’s schemes and must have his armor on so he can resist the enemy’s attacks. Don’t let the devil put you on your back and have you counted out! Know your weaknesses and make sure they are fiercely defended.

SDG rmb 8/13/2020

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