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The biggest guy in the room

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

When I was in high school, I wanted to be big and strong. Unfortunately, genetics were against me. My freshman year I might have tipped the scales at 130 pounds soaking wet. I didn’t have noticeable stomach muscles you could count, but my ribs were easily tallied. Sometimes when I turned sideways people forgot I was in the room.

Being a wee little man was not a problem during wrestling season. Everyone in my weight class was as puny as I was. Football season, however, was a different story. In football, there is no such thing as a weight class. There are simply those who do the tackling and those who get tackled. I often found myself in the latter group. I quickly realized that the only way I was going to survive the season was to get bigger. So, I hit the weights: bench press, leg press, curls, squats—you name it, I lifted it.

After a few weeks in the weight room there were some minor improvements to my physique, but I still was not what anyone would call big. That is when my father gave me some of the best advice of my teenage years. He said, “Son, you don’t have to be the biggest guy in the room. All you have to do is make sure the biggest guy in the room is your friend.”

Thirty years later, that’s still good advice. Though few of us need to worry about a 250-pound linebacker chasing us down, every one of us has reason to listen to a father’s advice. In the spiritual arena, there is no such thing as a weight class. There are wolves and sheep, those who do the devouring and those who are devoured. On our own, we are pitifully puny compared to the devil who seeks to devour us.

But the devil is not the biggest guy in the room. Jesus stood toe-to-toe with the devourer in the wilderness. Jesus stood face-to-face with him atop Calvary and (as God promised Adam and Eve in Genesis 3) crushed his head. A blood-stained cross proves the greatness of Jesus’ love for us as he laid down his life for his friends. His empty tomb proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the biggest guy in the room.

The devil may try to frighten you and intimidate you. He will point out that he is bigger than you, but you have nothing to worry about. The devil is not the biggest guy in the room. Jesus is. And the biggest guy in the room is your friend.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, the devil works hard to frighten and intimidate me. On my own, I know that I am no match for him. But because of your mercy and grace, I am not on my own. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, you are the biggest guy in the room. Help me to remember that because you are with me, nothing can stand against me. Amen.  

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This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series lent 2023

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