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Tug of War

I was at the front of the line in a tug of war once and still remember something distinctly: I wondered to myself, “What would happen if I let go of the rope?” Being a small person, I did not think it would matter at all.

As soon as I let go, we were suddenly pulled forward by the opposing side. With surprise, I discovered that I did make a difference. Although it was not a momentous pull, it was enough for me to notice. Of course, no one behind me knew I had let go because, unlike me, they were focused on pulling. I realized that there would always be those to pick up the slack and continue to battle even if some grew weary or lazy (or curious, in my case).

Anyone who has observed or participated in a tug of war knows that the greatest moments of struggle are those that appear to stand still. It may seem as though nothing is happening at all when in fact, a tremendous amount of pressure is at stake – two opposing sides in equilibrium battling for victory.

Our spiritual battle is subtle but no less fierce as we battle “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age” (Eph 6:12). While everything may seem calm and secure in our lives, we are actually in a vital moment of struggle in this spiritual tug of war. We have to be ever more vigilant as one of Satan’s most subtle tactics is to tempt us when our guards are down.

Being in this spiritual tug of war, we must fully realize that every member matters (1 Cor 12:12-22). The last person in the tug of war line serves as an anchor but cannot win alone. Likewise, we cannot rely on a few key members, because even they will grow weary (Isa 40:30). Just as concentration and coordination are essential to winning a tug of war, we must all work together as one body, pressing forward, being of the same mind, and staying alert so we may help those who are weak. The fundamental reason is that the battle must always continue on.

As much as we are not alone in our spiritual journey, it is still a personal journey. Just like the fundamental rule of tug of war teaches: it does not matter how long we hold on for if, in the end, we let go (Ezek 18:24).

Every inch of ground lost or gained matters a great deal because it means being that much further or closer to victory. Each time we sin, we allow Satan to gain a step closer to victory over us. However, “to the degree that we have already attained” reminds us that with every inch of ground gained each time we try to preach the gospel or glorify God in our daily lives, we are that much closer to victory.



Author: Rebecca Lee