'To Tap, or Not to Tap' ?
September 29, 2021
How many of you recognize these infamous people: Chuck (the iceman) Liddel; Carlos (the natural born killer) Condit; Tito (the bad boy) Ortiz; Keith (the dean of mean) Jardine; Matt (the terror) Serra; Deigo (the nightmare) Sanchez; or Quinton (rampage) Jackson? These are all MMA, mixed martial arts cage fighters, who participate in the full body sanctioned fighting, with the outcome being tap out, knock out or black out.
The sport is a combo of fighting styles, such as, boxing, Jiu jitsu, wrestling, tae kwon do, muay thai and karate. Some of the fighting moves are elbow strikes, arm bars, rear naked chokes, spinning back fists and ground and pound. The most notable term in cage fighting is the “tap out,” which happens when a fighter enforces so much pain and suffering on the opposing fighter, they can no longer go on, so they signal the referee with a tapping motion on the mat or body, and he ends the match.
Another fighting phenomenon, that parallels cage fighting, is the on-going spiritual battle in this world between Christ, the devil and us. As our adversary, the devil can make life so painful, so tiring, so exhausting, that it seems like we can’t go on, so we think about tapping out or giving up. But Jesus is one who knows what it is like to suffer at the hands of the devil, and he overcame him, making it possible for us to be victors as well.
This spiritual fighting match between Jesus and Satan began in Heaven. Round 1 - “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Rev. 12:7-9)
Fast forward through the Creation Story, the Devil’s temptation of mankind into sin and through the centuries to the Incarnation of Christ into this world as a human being, we come to Round 2. Jesus, as he begins His ministry, battles the devil in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-11) He wins the temptation battle with “It Is Written” and continues his ministry.
Round 3 - We find Jesus fighting at the end of His ministry in the Garden of Gethsemane and the Cross of Calvary. (Matthew 26:36-46; John 19:28-30) “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!.... So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” Complete victory over the devil comes with the Resurrection of Jesus and His ascension to the right hand of the Father. Conclusion: Jesus didn’t tap out!
He won the battle against the devil! “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4: 14-16)
Jesus knows what it is like to live in this world, in our flesh, and face our spiritual adversary, the devil. Jesus understands our humanness and has tasted our emotions, our feelings, our distresses and our sorrows.
At times, we may feel like tapping out, giving in or giving up. But I say, “Don’t Tap Out!” Jesus has defeated the devil and He will give you His victory, His strength, His patience to hold fast and carry on. To tap or not to tap, that is the question for all of us living in 2021. Jesus didn’t tap out, so why should we? And When do we not tap out?
• When we are part of a Divorce - (children, husband or wife) - Don’t Tap Out!
• When our Family Finances aren’t what they need to be - Don’t tap out!
• When our Health is failing - Don’t Tap Out!
• When Old Age overcomes us and we feel useless & hopeless, - Don’t Tap Out!
• When Someone we love has died leaving us lonely – Don’t Tap Out!
• When Peer Pressure from school causes us to waver – Don’t Tap Out!
• When Tempted to do drugs, party on, or have illicit sex – Don’t Tap Out or Give in!
So, whatever or whoever is attacking you with uppercuts, jabs, elbow strikes, arm bars, choke holds or even flying knee shots to the head, don’t tap out, but tap into Jesus and His strength, for “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” (Phil. 4:13) “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Eph. 6: 10,11) Amen? Amen!
Peter D. Morgan, Pastor
New Heart Fellowship A/G