“Trust in the LORD with all your heartand lean not on your own understanding.”Proverbs 3:5
I have been involved in martial arts since I was 17-years-old. I have trained in Taekwondo, Kenpo Karate, kickboxing, and more recently, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Jiu-jitsu requires a totally different skill set. There is no need to learn any katas (forms), to throw a perfect punch, or even to know how to kick. Therefore, none of my previous trainings really prepared me for Jiu-Jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu is a self-defense discipline that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. It teaches takedowns, takedown defense, ground control, and especially submissions.
The last time I trained in Jiu-Jitsu, my instructor had me roll (like sparring) with someone of a higher belt. As we were grappling and trying different takedown techniques, my instructor was standing a short distance away observing our techniques. He noticed that I was having a hard time submitting to my more advanced opponent, so he came closer to coach me. He started telling me where to put my hands, how to escape from one position to another, and which takedown defense to utilize when my opponent attacks.
At that moment I had to make a decision: Do I trust my instructor and do what he is telling me, or do I believe in my own abilities? I figured my instructor has years of experience, plus he’s been observing me for a while.He knew my strengths and weaknesses. So, I did what he said. I chose to listen to him because of my confidence in him and in his abilities.
You may not be a fighter, but as Christians, we are always in a fight. We have an opponent that the Bible tells us prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). He is always looking for ways to defeat us. His attacks may come in forms of sickness, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, marital conflicts, doubts, and even fear.
On the other hand, we have our all-powerful Instructor. He is the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 22:13). He is great and mighty in power (Psalm 147:5). All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). He is the One who sees all and knows all. He is God Almighty. So, when you feel like you are losing a fight, and you try all that you can and nothing works, let me encourage you to trust in God. Trusting in God requires total confidence and dependence on Him and His abilities. He knows your opponent, and He knows your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t rely on your understanding, but trust in His unfailing power and love.
When the circumstances don’t make sense, we must trust that God has a plan and that His will always works out for good. What fight are you in right now? Have you already tried all you can? It’s time to trust in the Lord.
As you go through your day, identify one or two things that are causing you to be anxious or fearful. Every time you think of the problem, use Proverbs 3:5 as your prayer, letting God know that you are trusting Him with your situation. Then wait patiently for the Lord to fight on your behalf.
In addition to all the Pastoral Care duties, Jephte is passionate about strengthening marriages through our Marriage Mentoring program and supporting those who need to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. Jephte and his wife, Marie, have three daughters.