“You can wait for what you know to be true.”
(Holy Spirit’s whisper to my heart & thoughts in 2016 ~ Nancy)
A boxing ring is the space in which a boxing match occurs. Inside that cordoned off platform, there’s not a lot of room to maneuver, dodge, and duck. Or, get in a really good swing while keeping out of harm’s way. It quickly becomes up close and personal on your way to victory or a TKO.
Victory needs no explanation. Neither does a mat-sprawling knockout with a count to ten sounding in your ears.
There are times though that a TKO is issued. According to Wikipedia, a technical knockout (TKO), or stoppage, is declared when the referee or official ring physician decides that a fighter cannot safely continue the match.
We might have been going for full-out judgment of the enemy, but mercy triumphed. Let me repeat that: mercy triumphed. Not the enemy, but mercy.
I for one am exceedingly grateful that we have a ‘referee and official ring physician’ Who presides over the match, the battle, and has already won the war. One day the enemy of our souls will go down for the final count.
In the meantime, the Lord is well aware of the particular boxing ring in which we are engaged. He also knows just how many rounds we’ve gone. And He watches with a careful eye to determine when enough is enough.
I don’t know how you have fared recently, dear reader, but lately our household has needed extra cold compresses and bandages in our spiritual first aid kit. The handful of weeks between Round Twelve and Round Thirteen wasn’t pretty. You cannot go toe to toe with the opponent of humanity’s souls without taking some hits and bruises.
To make matters worse, sometimes it is difficult to remember who the real enemy1 is when your eyes are nearly swollen shut from spiritual and verbal punches, your head hurts, resistance is a brick wall of denial that won’t crumble, and the strongholds so firmly entrenched are there because of things that never should have occurred.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
After many years and the thorough testing, multiplied times, of every one of the Spirit’s fruit listed above, the gloves are being hung up in one of our boxing rings of life. There’s had to be a working through that the beginning hoped-for goal is not how this match has ended. Instead, we’ve received the merciful word of the Lord in the situation: “Enough. I’m calling the match. You end well and rest in my mercy.”
When the Lord releases and your mind and heart come into agreement with His thoughts on the matter, it’s like your soul is put out to pasture a while in mercy land. Even as you keep showing up in other boxing rings of life. Even in the same field. It is not wise or healthy in many ways to consider we know best when clearly Abba does.
There is so much behind Round Thirteen but the outcome doesn’t call for more explanation, just love’s covering. Other than to say that for every time we’ve been told it’s our spiritual duty to ‘burn out for Jesus’, our response nowadays is to keep our head down and grazing in mercy land’s fertile valley precisely so as not to burn out.
We’ve tried burning out and just about did. Tell me, what is spiritual and life-giving about burning out? Nothing.
Instead, there is far more to ‘if we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit’ than just memorizing that scripture.2
It means to ‘keep step’ with the Spirit and follow His lead. At times that means a spell beside some still waters where He refreshes, restores, binds up and brings added understanding and wisdom. No one can stay in the boxing ring non-stop or forever. Just ask Rocky.
The devil is a sly one and tries hard to wear out the saints. However, he has a habit of eventually tipping his hand. That’s when Holy Spirit is quick to reveal what’s afoot to those keeping step with Him. And not always but sometimes, He determines ‘this round’s over’ and whispers ‘you can wait for what you know to be true’.
We are not ashamed, for we know Whom we have believed, and are persuaded
that He is able to keep that which we’ve committed unto Him against that Day.3
We’ve been in a season of committal of many things into the Lord’s hands. Many for which there is no release, and rightly, deeply so. Some are but seeds, some are growing, and some are bearing fruit. Many remain a mystery as to their outcome. Yet His assurance in our active waiting is based on the Truth, which He is.4
The time has arrived to pass through the enemy’s pressing crowd and continue on our way,5 our hands firmly gripped in Jesus’ hands and our hearts free to follow, keeping step with Him.
We are both done and not done. Round Thirteen comes to a close and rest is needful, though we dare not become lazy or any less vigilant.
Victory still awaits. Just ask Rocky.
~ Gracefully Free
Praying peace that passes understanding, renewed strength like the eagle for all you who relate.
1 Ephesians 6:12 │2 Galatians 5:25 │3 II Timothy 1:12 │4 John 14:6 │5 Luke 4:30