I am spending a week on vacation with my family along with some great friends. One of whom is the man who led me to Jesus Christ about 17 years ago. So, I thought I would post something he taught me 17 years ago. I shared this in a sermon a few weeks ago and someone asked me to post.
When I first became a Christian the whole idea of spiritual warfare was foreign to me. People who talked about it seemed quit frankly, a little strange. Since that time I have learned just how real this battle is (Eph 6:12). I will never forget one of the first things I was told about spiritual warfare. My mentor told me, “Now that you are in God’s family, Satan can’t do anything to take you out of God’s family. However, what he wants to do is cut your legs out from under you and make you ineffective.”
At the time I was a Senior in High School and was on the track team. The image that came to my mind when I heard those words was one of a runner, running a race and jumping over a hurdle. When the runner jumped over the hurdle his legs were cut out from under him. He was out of the race. He was ineffective. It is true, he was still on the team, but he wasn’t accomplishing anything for the team.
What happens all the time is that people join the team, they trust Jesus Christ as Savior. That is an amazing thing. All of heaven rejoices (Luke 15), they are a child of God (John 1:12) and nothing can change that. However, very shortly after that decision they get their legs cut out from under them and find themselves on the sidelines watching a race they should be running in. Satan uses many things to cut our legs out from under us; depression, anxiety, cancer, divorce, discouragement, temptation, the list goes on. Essentially what happens is that as a result of these types of things we begin to believe lies like:
“God can’t use you.”
“You’re not committed enough.”
“If you really believed in God you would never _____.”
“You call yourself a Christian?” (hear demeaning tone)
“Real ministry is for the professionals or at least the really committed.”
Don’t get your legs cut out from under you. You are supposed to be in the race.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.