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Keep Your Dukes Up

by Nancy Harry

Eagles Rest Ministries - Harrisburg, PA

 I find as I have grown older the things I didn’t mind doing when I was younger now seem harder to do. I’d drive across the country and I wouldn’t even think twice about it. Now, to drive two hours almost seems like too far. I didn’t mind getting up in the dark of morning to serve breakfast and then lunch at a hotel restaurant, so I could arrive home when my children would be returning from school. Now, even after the sun has long peeked over the horizon, I find it hard to leave my comfy bed. I felt stronger back in those younger years – heaving boxes, moving furniture, lifting kids, carrying bags – and now I ask, “Isn’t there a man around?”, as if they may not feel more tired or weaker with age.

I remember the diseases that came and went. I remember the heartaches I survived. I remember the temptations and sins I overcame. The Bible says resist the devil and he’ll flee from you. Sometimes it feels like I’ve spent my life just resisting the negative things that can rise against us to bring us down. But now I’m tired. I’m tired of the struggles.

I want to sit on the porch swing with my cup of tea in hand and watch the world pass by. I want to enjoy the landscape and the lakes where the turtles and otters play, where a variety of tropical birds come to refresh themselves from their flights across the sky. But nowhere in the Bible does it say we can put our dukes down. Our reward comes when we have overcome to the very end.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7) NIV

The Bible also tells us to always rejoice in the Lord. That means to me that we don’t have to give up joy or give up the pleasures of life that God meant for us to enjoy, as we continue to conquer and overcome those things that try to come against us. But be careful. Just when you think you’ve won the fight and turn your back to walk away - it is possible the enemy may revive long enough to get you in the back when you are off guard. The enemy does not give up easily. Negative things in life continue to linger. We can’t turn our back. We can’t put our dukes down.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. (Ephesians 6:10-12) NIV

Even though in the physical we may tire and weaken, let your spirit remain ever strong – strong in the Lord. We fight a foe that has already been defeated by Jesus/Yeshua, so never give in and never give up. Always, keep your dukes up.

Scriptures taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

I heard the LORD say, "Get ready!  We are about to play in a different league, far superior!" - PJ

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