Hey readers. This is the second in an occasional series on this blog detailing the spiritual parallels I see in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling in general. Another key factor in successful jiu-jitsu, both Brazilian and spiritual, is keeping good posture and a solid base. Good posture and a solid base can prevent many attacks from your opponent and can make you much more difficult to move and/or sweep.
On the mat, your opponent may have you in his guard. It is in his best interest to break your posture and/or disrupt your base. This can be accomplished by pulling down on your head and keeping you in close to him, or working to compromise a leg or an arm that you may be posted up on. Breaking your posture serves several purposes: 1) It nullifies a lot of your options for attack in jiu-jitsu by not allowing you to move easily into more advantageous positions. It also limits striking or ground and pound attacks if it is a full MMA fight, by not allowing you the distance from your opponent needed to get velocity or power to your blows. 2) It wears you down physically as you struggle to get back to a position you can work effectively from.
In the spiritual realm, your Adversary has the same goals. Breaking your posture and/or disrupting your base spiritually can make you much more susceptible to a wide variety of attacks and traps. He knows this and will employ many techniques to try to do so. Maintaining good posture spiritually comes from the knowledge that, although flawed and deeply sinful, we are, on an individual basis, loved by God enough to send his only Son to suffer and die in our place, freeing us from the bonds of our sin. The Adversary will use the tool of guilt over past transgressions to try to keep our spiritual posture broken. Although God and others we have hurt may have forgiven us, forgiving ourselves is often the hardest thing to do. The Adversary will use that, reminding us of the things we have done, plant seeds of depression and doubt, wearing us down and pulling us into a very dark place spiritually. From there he can take your back, sink his hooks in and you may feel that cold arm begin to work its way into position for a choke.
Maintaining a good base spiritually comes chiefly from actively reading God's Word and from having an active prayer life. The Adversary fears that because with a good base, you will be much more difficult to move or sweep into a position that he can begin to more effectively attack. The Adversary will put other activities, people, or any number of things in your path to try to dissuade you from feeding on scripture and from having an ongoing prayer dialogue with God. Without a steady diet of those two things, your base will become shaky and you can be easily swept over and mounted by your Adversary. From there, the Adversary has any number of options for attack. Prayer and reading the Word must become part of your lifestyle. They are an essential part of winning the battles we fight on a daily basis.
When you feel the Adversary pulling down on you, trying to break your posture by throwing your past up in your face, simply remind him that he is defeated and that you are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the Universe. A simple way to do so is to say, "Hey, I've got two words for you: John 3:16."
Fight on in the knowledge that you have the best Corner Man in the Universe. He is there to pick you up when you fall, wipe the blood from your face when you are wounded, wet your parched mouth with the Living Water that only He can give, and send you back out for the next round, rejuvenated. At some point, the horn will sound for the final time and you will sit down in the corner with your Corner Man. He will place His arms around you and say "Well done, good and faithful fighter." What a day that will be.