Sucker punch: an unexpected punch or blow.
Among some teens and young adults it’s become a game. It’s called the Knock Out Game in some circles and the sole purpose is to render unconscious an unsuspecting victim with one single sucker punch. It’s a vicious ‘game’ and it happens spiritually, too. In the Christian man’s life, the spiritual sucker punch is an unexpected punch or blow that knocks us down and leaves us gasping for air, struggling to get back up. These unexpected attacks come from things like…
- The unexpected encounter with a past addiction.
- The note your wife left on the counter telling you that she’s leaving.
- The late night talk with your young, unmarried daughter when she tells you that she’s pregnant.
- Your boss pulling you into his office Monday morning and telling you the company is downsizing and you no longer have a job.
- Your personal experience here:__________________________.
It’s the sucker punch. You didn’t see it coming.
While we are all susceptible to the sucker punch, what can we do to avoid being an easy target? And if we are attacked, how do we take a hit, feel the real and intense pain associated with it, but not lose spiritual consciousness? Here are 3 things that every man needs to put in practice daily that will help him be less of a sucker punch target and to help him stay spiritually focused after taking a hit.
1. LIVE WITH PURPOSE.
Criminal studies have shown that a person walking without any real sense of purpose or confidence makes a better target than someone who is walking with confidence. As Christian men we should live our lives with purpose. Intentionally invest in relationships at home, community, and church. Have planned prayer and bible study time both privately and with our family. Be intentional with your marriage. Be intentional with your children. Be intentional with purity, setting good parameters in your life where there is past addiction or weakness. It is less likely that we’ll be caught off guard if we are walking and living our life for Christ purposefully.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor 10:31
2. BE AWARE OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT.
Many people become victims simply because they were not paying attention. They were texting or reading an email while walking down the street. They were thinking about a conversation they had the previous evening or about plans for the coming weekend. They had no idea they were about to be attacked. Men, be aware of your surroundings. Has your wife seemed distant for a few days? A few weeks? Months? Has your teenage son been spending a lot of time on the internet but the browsing history shows minimal usage? Have you been wrapped up in a project at work or in a hobby that has kept you from spending quality time with God? Be aware guys! Pray that the Lord will give you discernment in your life. Ask Him to show things to you that are currently hidden or that you’ve overlooked. Don’t let your attention be diverted while your family and relationship with God fall apart around you.
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13
3. KNOW YOUR DEFENSE.
Some of the best sucker punch stories are those where the intended victim turns the situation around and gives the would-be attacker a beating to remember. Guys, we are not defenseless! But if we do not spend time with God and in His word we will not know what our defenses are. Read your bible and memorize scriptures that help you overcome reoccurring failures in your life. Learn verses that give you clear instruction in how to lead your home. Find ones that encourage you during those hard days at work. A warrior’s weapons are useless if he does not learn to use them or take them into battle.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; 2 Cor 10:4
Not every single problem you have comes from the devil – let’s not give him too much credit. Some things are just life happening. But it is important for the Christian man to remember that the devil is out to destroy. He does hate you. Don’t doubt that for a second. He is looking for the opportunity to ruin you. To knock you out cold, leaving you face down on the pavement. Some victims of the Knock Out Game have actually died from their injuries. The devil would love nothing more than for us to die a spiritual death due to a spiritual sucker punch.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
While that may be his desire, it is not our destiny. Our destiny is victory. But to walk in our destiny it will take us being intentional. We will not accidentally be a good husband, father, friend, or follower of Christ. We have to do it on purpose. Make your choice today! Choose to walk with purpose, aware of your environment, and trained in the defenses that Christ provides us. When you do this, you’ll find your not living on the defensive, your actually living on the offensive. You’re a conqueror!
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37
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