Tug of War

I have identified two primary “pulls” in my life, and these “pulls” are diametrically opposed. These two things are in constant tension, and like a game of tug of war (a contest in which two teams pull at opposite ends of a rope until one team drags the other over a central line) they continually work to get me completely on their side of the line. Now I think that most everyone has the goal of winning in mind, whether it is within participation of a game, or in our lives. And, within all reasonable boundaries, I do like to win (disclaimer: however not at the expense of damaging another life).

Visualize this: on each end of this very thick, very strong rope (think of a rope that holds a massive freighter when moored to the dock) is a team of ten strong men (think the size and strength of Dwayne Johnson – “The Rock”), and at the start of the game they begin to pull with their might. First team A will pull the center point (instead of a marker on the center point of the rope, you are the center point) of the rope towards themselves while team B struggles to pull the rope towards themselves. Can you picture the tension on the rope (you)? You then are pulled rather strongly, and perhaps violently, towards one side or the other. And, as the length of the game increases those forces, on each end of the rope, dig deeper and deeper in the ground to gain a foothold and advantage. Typically this game of tug of war can last several minutes, or longer, depending upon the stamina that each team member has. Eventually however, one side will ultimately dig deep and have more power over the other side, and when they do, they will win the game. That one team will be in total possession of you (the center point), while the other team collapses in fatigue and failure. They’ve won the prize (you).

When we use this analogy to think about ourselves, I think that we will naturally identify more with one side or the other in this “tug of war” over our lives. You may call it Good over Evil. I call it Heaven over Hell, Light over Darkness, God over Satan. I choose Good, Heaven, Light, God! I choose God’s team: let’s, identify them as team A (or the A team, and I don’t mean the television show that ran from 1983-1987).

But, that’s not to say that Satan’s team (team B), won’t occasionally attempt to pull me back over the center line and into their field. In fact, as long as I live and breathe, the B team will be working hard to get me into their court. The B team wants possession of my life. As a child of God, one of his chosen, I am a rather attractive prize to obtain. Not because I have special demonic talents, but the B team wants me, so that I can hurt God. The B team wants to discredit my witness and my life, so that I will not attract others to God. It’s all in the game. But, this game is deadly, with eternal consequences for myself and many others.

Now God gives me an advantage in this game of tug of war over my life. And, ever since I can remember, God has been actively calling me to Himself. I have always felt the pull of God, and even though there are times that I don’t heed his call, He still gives me His power and might. Satan is powerful, but he can never completely compete with the ultimate power of God. If I remain on the vine (John 15:5), in constant connection with God, I will forever belong to the A team. God provides me the strength through His Word, through prayer, and through connection with Godly counsel, and I will wear the crown of the victor at the end of the game (The Imperishable Crown – 1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

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