“Ladies and gentlemen…welcome to tonight’s main event! In this corner, weighing in at heavyweight status carrying the mind, the will and wearing his emotions on his sleeve, we have…the Soul!”
Thunderous cheers erupted throughout the crowded coliseum. This was the obvious favorite in tonight’s match. The announcer continued.
“And in this corner…a heavyweight of a different category, carrying only the Word and wearing truth at his loins, righteousness at his chest and salvation covering his head…it’s the Spirit!”
A great cloud of witnesses cheered from a distance, but was soon drowned out by the taunting, jeering crowd immediately surrounding the ring. This was the fight of all fights: the born-again spirit of man battling his willful, intellectual, emotional soul. Who would be the winner in the battle for eternity?
The announcer called the two to center ring. Soul challenged Spirit confidently.
“You want some of me?”
“I want all of you,” Spirit replied.
With that, the fight was on. Soul came out swinging, doing his best to dominate, but armed with the Word, spirit blocked every move. Soul threw a jab of sickness. Spirit easily blocked it with James 5:15, “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up…”
Coming back, Soul struck with a left hook of the cares of the world. Unshaken, Spirit quickly counterpunched with John 16:33, “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.”
Next came a combination hit of pride and unforgiveness. Even a double shot like this was no match for Spirit who came back strongly with 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
On and on they fought, endlessly, it seemed. Soul was tenacious in his attack, hurling every kind of damaging hindrance he could produce: hatred, disappointment, lust, jealousy, logic, reason, bitterness… but Spirit blocked every one. Round after round Spirit was victorious, but the constant battle was weakening him. Soul knew what he had to do. After waiting for just the right moment of vulnerability, he lunged with his most powerful, deadly move. The crippling uppercut of doubt landed Spirit flat on his back.
Stunned and confused, Spirit lay exhausted on the mat. He tried to retaliate, but to no avail. It didn’t matter what scripture he tried to come back with; doubt seemed to nullify them all. He felt himself fading. Soul danced around the ring victoriously, hands in the air. Could this be the end?
Suddenly, Spirit caught a glimpse of something he hadn’t noticed before. Slowly he turned his pounding head to see what, or rather Who, it was. There was a Third Man in the ring. He kneeled down beside Spirit and looked deeply into his eyes.
“Greater is He that is in you. You know the truth; stand on it. Don’t go down for the count.”
The realization of His words began to ignite inside Spirit. He wasn’t alone! The One who conquered death was in the ring with him. How could he lose? His eyes started to focus. Leaning on one arm, he raised his head and addressed his opponent.
Still soaking up applause from the audience, Soul whirled around in shock.
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed…”
Soul’s cocky grin began to fade. Spirit pulled himself up further.
“…we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken…”
Soul’s hands fell to his side. Spirit balanced on one knee.
“…struck down, but… not… destroyed!”*
Spirit jumped to his feet as Soul crumbled to his knees. The astonished crowd sat dumbfounded as the cloud of witnesses in the distance cheered jubilantly. As the final bell sounded, the Referee raised Spirit’s hand in victory.
Although he didn’t realize it, this would be an eternal triumph for Soul as well. He raised his hands, no longer in arrogant praise to himself, but in humble submission to a spirit victoriously empowered by the Third Man in the ring.
* 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
All verses NKJV
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