The stands are filled to capacity; the spotlight is turned on and picks up
the ring in the center. The announcer begins, 'In this corner is Pilgrim,
 weighing in at a heavy load of cares and burdens. He is fighting for his life,
but He says he is hopeful; because he has been in similar rings many times
with this same opponent and emerged the champion.' Attention is drawn
to the contender who is outfitted in attire recognized by many who are
familiar with Ephesians 6:13. He is flexing all his muscles 'strengthened
with all might, according to His glorious power' (Colossians 3:11). Though
weary and tired from previous fights, he holds his head high and raises his
gloved hands in triumph, feeling confident because he knows he is
'strengthened with might through His Spirit' (Ephesians 3:16).

The announcer continues the introductions: 'And in this corner is Lucifer,
an experienced fighter, who has been fighting since time began. He has many victories behind him and expects to be the victor tonight. He keeps himself
in shape by constant workouts and fights; and his strategy is to study his opponentís weaknesses, then wait for the right opportunity to take
advantage of an opponent to score a KO.'

Pilgrim is not intimidated by the many victories claimed by Lucifer. He
knows that many have been felled by his KO punch, but he also knows that
 many others have come away victorious and walked away even stronger
 than they were before the fight.

Every successful fighter is supported by a manager who knows the ropes
and keeps his fighter buoyed up by words of encouragement. He trains him
 to be alert to the tactics of his opponent and how to defend himself as well
as how to throw the punch that will defeat his opponent.

As the fight begins, Lucifer dances around on the mat, luring Pilgrim into
his hitting range. He thinks pilgrim will get careless and at that precise
moment, a KO blow will land Pilgrim on the mat for the count. What he
failed to take into account was Pilgrimís Manager. His expert training
had prepared Pilgrim for this fight.

You see, Manager faced Lucifer in a battle for His earthly ministry in a
wilderness place many years before. There were no ringside seats, flashbulbs
or reporters; but the great victory that was won there has been published
for two thousand years. That victory zooms into pilgrimís consciousness,
and he knows he is prepared for this fight.

Pilgrim draws back and with all his might smashes Lucifer with a right jab...
'It is written!' Then a left jab...'It is written!' Lucifer staggers, flinging erratic punches at Pilgrim but only glances him with blows. A one-two jab..' It is
written!' and Lucifer hits the mat and the count begins:
The crowd is on its feet and roars! The great 'cloud of witnesses'
(Hebrews 12:1) had experienced their own bouts with Lucifer
and had won and were jubilant at Pilgrimís victory.

Winning brought great satisfaction to Pilgrim, but the purse that came with
the victory was what he was excited about. Having overcome Luciferís
attempt to defeat him, he now heads for the payoff...Eternal Life in
the Managerís mansion!

There can be no defeat when your Manager is the Master strategist in the ring.
He knows every move, every footwork trick and every sneak attack by the opponent. He canít be surprised, and every fighter He manages always comes
out a winner.

Donít try to face your opponent alone. Youíll be on the mat for the count
before you know what hit you. Put yourself in the hand of the Master for
 training before you have to go into the ring to face the challenger. You are
 no match for him alone. He is a friend of the mob, and they are out to win
at any cost. They donít play by the rules and will go to any length to gain
a victory. Use the jab that will always score a KO -- 'It is written!'

'For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory
that has overcome the world,our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world,
 but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?' (1 John 5:4-5 NKJV).

Jesus dealt the KO blow once and for all~~at Calvary.


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