Fighting the Good Fight

A.J. Conyers wrote: “If within we find nothing over us we succumb to what is around us.”Some other guy who didn’t’ happen to have a degree in theology put it this way: “If you stand for nothing you’ll fall for anything.”

When the neighborhood kids got together to play, we often played army, built impregnable forts, and carried an impressive array of highly sophisticated weaponry. There were hard and fast rules we had to follow, unless the guilty party was a whole lot bigger than the rest of us. Then, we made an exception.

When you aimed your looks-almost-real stick at somebody, you had to make the right kind of noise for your weapon. A wimpy ‘pow’ or ‘brrrrrrp’ meant you just winged the guy. Your personal sound of doom had to be followed by “gotcha, you’re dead.”

Some of the greatest acting ever witnessed in this great country of ours took place in the woods around our houses. Performances worthy of red carpets and little gold statues were regular features of the hard-fought backyard battles.

There were several outcomes. First, all the combatants would fall dead and the game would be over. Second, there was still time for another epic encounter so the dead would rise to fight again. Third, every team had a base, secreted from the others, where you could retreat for a break, a snack, plan a new strategy, or to ‘heal’ from a wound. As long as you were at base, you could not be attacked.

It would be nice to have a place like that these days. There aren’t too many places where you feel safe. Where is your safe place? In solitude, among family or friends, with your church? Where do you go when you need to regroup; when the pressure builds to the breaking point; where you can trade anxiety for trust?

You could say the Conyers painted a scene of possible victory. The answer is ‘within’ us and ‘over’ us – these two are more powerful that ‘what is around us.’ John wrote, “Greater is He who is within you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). We don’t have to succumb – to fall prey to, to yield to. By the power of Christ we have overcome the world!

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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