My Mind is the Wrestling Ring and God is My Opponent. There is One Outcome…

A human vs. human fight would see surrender as weak. God is above that. When we surrender to him and his grace, we are seen in a new light.
Surrender.

Israel in Hebrew means, “One who wrestles with God.”

In the blue corner, we have a healthy human. He boasts a strong desire and selfishness. Every day, the tale of the tape, is between him and his toughest opponent in every corner imaginable: God.

Why are we paying hundreds for this fight, is this even a contest?

No, Joe, the fight is a no-contest, but every time the human seems to think he can stand toe-to-toe with the almighty.

It makes for great entertainment when he gets the s#!t kicked out of him.

The Battle Between Our Ego and God

The fight in our mind, body, and soul is always between our ego and God.

In this battle, God presents us with a choice every day: to satisfy our fleshly animal nature or surrender to our divinity.

The former is concerned with survival. The latter with the spiritual. Both are necessary to thrive on this Earth.

But many times we wrestle with the spiritual.

My cousin, in Portugal, used to fling himself into the strongest waves. He chalked up his bizarre actions to his “mind saying no, but his body saying yes.” That sums up the battle.

This battle manifests as tension as we wrestle with desire.

There are two ways to alleviate the tension:

  1. Give in to the desire and selfishness of the ego.
  2. Surrender to God and accept the inevitability of losing the battle.

The first strengthens our animalistic side. The second favours our divine nature.

Every day presents us with a choice.

How Did We End Up Losing

It has everything to do with our egoic selfishness.

When we are selfish, we only look after ourselves. This by definition goes against the greatest commandment in Christianity: love the lord your God with all your heart. It therefore also goes against the second greatest one: love your neighbour.

We cannot completely relinquish egoic control as it is important to our physical survival.

We can, however, feed our spirit more!

This battle between our ego and our divinity manifests as tension. I know I should do this because the Bible says it so, but my body wants to turn the other way. Sometimes the body wins. But when the spirit wins, it grows. This grants you a steadfast heart to feed your spirit even more.

As James 1:2–4 says:

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

James was referring to this very same battle with the word, “testing.”

I am only referencing the Christian tradition because it’s the one I happen to spend the most time with. However, this truth isn’t exclusive to Christians. It spans the test of time and transcends the globe.

The Battle in the East

The same battle in the West is happening in the East.

Eastern religions just have another way of framing the details.

All religions that have stood the test of time are vehicles that point toward the same truth. The truth serves all that is good in the world.

There are many ways to point your compass to all that is good and true. Pick a spiritual discipline, let it infect your mind, and radiate the effects outward. Spirituality isn’t meant to be transactional — it doesn’t revolve around the notion of “I am following God for my benefit.” That mentality is ego under the guise of divinity. It is the classic case of wrestling with God by befriending him as a freeloader.

Spiritual disciplines will offer benefits to ourselves, but the benefits shouldn’t be the main focus.

The main focus should be doing good in the world.

Winning the Battle

Let’s be straight: there is no winning the battle with God as your opponent.

However, instead of fighting God, there is another way to win.

That way is surrendering to him.

A human vs. human fight would see surrender as shameful. God is above that. When we surrender to him and his grace, we are seen in a new light.

The first step for me was to study a spiritual discipline. I picked Christianity. You might pick Buddhism or the Islamic traditions. Who cares as long as it produces good in yourself and the world you interact with?

Picking one is easy, sticking to it is a different matter.

Some days I find it extremely difficult to follow the Bible’s teachings. This is due to the tension produced because of the battle. On these days it feels like every ounce of my animal nature opposes divinity.

It is these days where you are either forged in divinity or moulded into an animal.

Stay aware of the tension, let it pass.

The Bhutanese Buddhists say “mitakpa”, which means impermanence.

The tension will go away with surrender.

Then, it will come back.

Then you surrender again and lose your selfish life to find it.

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