Eph 6:12 – For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open. . .
Define your enemy:
I love to win; but I love to lose almost as much. I love the thrill of victory, and I also love the challenge of defeat. – Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig lost his life to ALS (also named for him as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) He gave a farewell speech when he left baseball. It went thusly.
“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow?
To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.
When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something.
When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.
So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”
In December 1939, Gehrig was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He died less than two years after giving his speech, on June 2, 1941, at age 37.
He fought a battle and it appears he lost, but really I don’t believe he did. During the time between baseball and his death he served as the New York City Parole Commissioner fostering positive change in former prisoners in decision-making and behavior, and expanding opportunities for them to move out of the criminal and juvenile justice systems through meaningful education, employment, health services, family engagement and civic participation.
Battles will always be fought. Spiritual battles always foster themselves into the natural realm. Gehrig used his soul and spirit even in those last days he had to make a difference in spite of his illness.
What’s your battle in life? What are you battling with? God has put on His team. His team has all wins, no losses. Battles can be lost my friend, but the war isn’t. You will win. Take defeat as a challenge to better yourself. Get up, clean off the dirt of that defeat and take on the challenge to make it to the end and see the surrender of your enemies.