One of the true facts of life is that it is rarely a cake walk and it often serves up a big slice of tough times. Regardless of the path you choose to follow or the dream you will pursue, you may have to scrap a little along the way.
When the odds seem to be stacked against you, you might want to heed the words of Sylvester Stallone’s alter ego, Rocky Balboa and take it, “One step. One punch. One round at a time.”
Even though I never liked the politics of Muhammad Ali, I admired his prowess as a boxer. The champ once said that, “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
Ali was known more for his ability to bob and weave than he was for a knockout punch, and his rope-a-dope antics frustrated his opponents as well as his fans. There were few, however, who questioned his dedicated preparation for a fight and his desire to win.
Just as a boxer trains hard, studies his opponent, and then steps into the ring with faith in his skill set, the Christian needs to:
- Endure hardness as a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3)
- Keep a cool head. Stay alert because the Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up (I Peter 5:8, The Message).
- Fight the good fight, finish your course, and keep the faith 2 Tim 4:7-8
- Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11).
The myth of Rocky Balboa was his ability to reach inside and find the inner strength to beat the unbeatable foe—he willed himself to win.
When you have to face a battle, remember the words of Psalm 144:1: “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, He trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.”
God will do more than just train you, He will sustain you: “The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes (Deuteronomy 1:30).”
Note: One of my favorite theme songs is in this clip of Rocky training with Apollo Creed https://youtu.be/TnqZl_blT7E