You keep bouncing back!

Remember Rocky III?  If not, then it’s the one where Clubber Lang (Mr. T.) beat Rock to a pulp.  Jab after jab, upper cut after upper cut, Clubber Lang punched Rocky until he was unrecognizable.  The beatings, however, didn’t stop Rocky, especially during the rematch.  Although Clubber Lang’s punches could have stopped a freight train, Rocky refused to give up.  He wouldn’t quit, and needless to say, he left Clubber Lang confused.

One of the easiest ways to threaten your enemies is to keep bouncing back.  Vow to endure hardness as a good soldier, and if you lose the battle, return to win the war.  That’s what made the Egyptians nervous in the verses cited above.  Although they tried to eliminate the Israelites, they kept bouncing back.  The more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied!  And because they kept bouncing back, the Egyptians became more frightened!

You’re a threat to the enemy because you keep bouncing back.  In spite of all the blows he’s delivered, you keep returning better, stronger, and wiser.  So, don’t stop now.  Let this trial be a trampoline to your next triumph.  Keep bouncing back!

I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the Lord has done (Psalm 118:17, New Living Translation)

God’s hands are on you!

In college, my friends and I enjoyed the protective services of our friend, Anthony.  We didn’t ask him to do it; it just happened.  Anthony is physically intimidating – 6′-6″ tall, 300 lbs – so he was a good fit for the position.  Whenever we’d go somewhere, he’d always walk behind us, as if he was keeping an eye on us.  Whenever trouble came, all we had to do was point behind us.  Needless to say, our adversaries quickly calmed down.

Just as Anthony kept his eyes on us, God keeps His hands on His children.  God’s protection is so awesome that even Satan can’t penetrate it.  Notice his complaint to God concerning Job: “… Job has good reason to fear God.  You have always put a wall of protection around him …” (Job 1:9, New Living Translation).  God is so confident in His protective services that He boasts through Isaiah, “… no weapon turned against you will succeed” (Isaiah 54:17, New Living Translation).

You make the enemy nervous because God’s hands are protecting you.  That’s why you can’t stay down, for God will gently lift you out of every trial.  God is our spiritual Allstate – we’re in good hands, no matter the obstacle!

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand (John 10:27-29, New Living Translation).

Your gift makes a difference!

In the late 1980s, the Detroit Pistons became known as the “Bad Boys,”  largely because of their defensive prowess.  Their defense was no-nonsense, and at times, no holds barred.  They kicked, scratched, clawed, pushed, and even punched to send a message to the opposing team.  Interestingly, this defense was called “The Jordan Rules.”  Of all the NBA players they could have targeted, they designed this scheme to stop Michael Jordan.  Why?  Michael Jordan was a threat to their championship dreams!

Satan is also a “bad boy,” and he targets God’s “all-stars.”  Out of the 276 people (see Acts 27:37) this poisonous snake could have attacked, it sunk its fangs into Paul’s hand.  Why?  Later in Acts 28, Paul laid hands on all of the sick people in Malta, and the Lord healed them.  In other words, the snake had subscribed to the “Paul Rules,” and it attacked Paul to hinder his gift.  If it had been successful, then Satan’s influence in Malta would have continued.

As Michael Jordan and Paul had a bulls eye on their backs, so do you.  You’re a threat to Satan because you have a difference-making gift.  That’s why you can’t stay down.  Instead, shake Satan off and complete your assignment!

He’s after you!

I watch the Animal Planet channel periodically, and I’m always fascinated by lions.  I’m particularly intrigued by their feeding patterns.  Lions are not scavengers; that is, they normally avoid “road kill.”  Instead, lions are hunters.  They attack animals that are alive and well.

It’s no coincidence that Peter compares Satan to a lion, for he doesn’t attack just anyone, either.  Peter said Satan is looking for someone to devour, and he can’t devour anything that’s already dead.  That’s why he’s after you – you’re alive and well, spiritually.  That means you, or something you do, is effective and infectious.  Your light shines so brightly that it terrifies Satan and threatens his success.  He wants to destroy you before you put another dent in his armor!

This recharge is just a simple explanation for those who feel like the walls of wickedness are collapsing around you.  Satan is after you because you’re making a difference.  So, don’t give up now; rather, take Peter’s advice and stand firm against him!  You can’t stay down because you’re penetrating the forces of evil!

… Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7, New Living Translation).