The year was 1993 and it was a cold November Friday night and I, being 9 years old was excited about being able to finally see Ultimate Fighting Championship debut on pay per view with a couple friends. We saved up some money to be able to pay for the event and I couldn’t have been more excited to watch it, because as you know already, I was already a big fan of professional wrestling so adding mixed martial arts to my viewing list was exciting. As we began watching the pay per view, I couldn’t help but notice of how determined all of the fighters looked before the match. The confidence in each one was so high that it was a shame that one of them would end up being the loser in the battle. So, to help you on the format of this pay per view, it was a single elimination bracket, so if you lost you were out. Now there were obviously undercard matches before the actual tournament began but the tournament was what captivated the audience. The most anticipated match would happen between Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie in the semifinals but it only lasted 57 seconds because of a submission hold from Royce Gracie to win it. I was disappointed in the outcome but more disappointed in how fast that outcome would happen. Looking back at this now I realize that too many times we have high expectations of something or someone and it tends to disappoint us as well, like I was sitting there as a 9-year-old. Royce Gracie would become the Ultimate Fighting Champion that night but he technically isn’t the first.
Obviously the most important and best Ultimate Fighting Champion is Jesus because not only did he die, he has risen while fighting with love not hate while speaking truth. I want to talk about another Ultimate Fighting Champion, a boy named David. He had a big task ahead of him yet he still had that same determined look in his eyes, just like the fighters on that pay per view did that night when I was young. When everyone wanted to back down away from the giant, David stood his ground and trusted God to give him strength and determination and he was confident enough to become the Ultimate Fighting Champion that day while slaying the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17:31-58). You are not David and I am not going to say that you are David because scripture isn’t made for us to be those characters in the Bible but I will say that you can be like David by trusting the Lord to deliver you from any obstacles that seem too big to handle. You have to have that same confidence and determination in your eyes that you will always succeed and that if you are trusting in God to guide you in your battles, you will never lose. Notice I never said that you will never struggle because even David struggled before he went to battle with Goliath because others said he was too small and laughed at him and said he couldn’t do it, to his face and behind his back. People will do the same to you, do not listen to them but put trust in God because the greatest strength comes from Him and not man and he will get you through those battles that you are faced. There are several people that put trust in God first while others did not believe (Noah, Job, Paul) just to name a few and sometimes God can use you even when you don’t believe in yourself (Moses). You will always meet God’s expectations if you are true to yourself and follow His guidance no matter what. Let me give you a few pointers to help you before you go into battle.
Make sure you are ready for battle with having the strength of the gospel and the same mentality as Jesus, loving always while giving the truth. It is not your job to change people, but you have to always defend the truth of the gospel even when people say that it is only a book made by man. I am not saying the Bible is perfect because there are a lot of scrolls and scripture left unfound. I will say that the Bible and its words are truth because it was written by God through the Holy Spirit in prophets like Moses and Paul giving truth about God’s relationship with the world and His expectations of His followers and what is to come. I rather follow the truth than not, wouldn’t you? Praying is part of that confidence building that you need and that will help you give the right words to a person that is not on the right path. Lastly don’t ever give up on someone just because the outcome in the battle at the time is not to your liking. Remember, God strengthens and makes new so let Him.
As a believer it is extremely difficult at times in those battles, we are faced but becoming an Ultimate Fighting Champion should never come easy if we are truly in the battle and following our purpose. Remember what 1 Corinthians 16:13 says: “be on your guard, stand firm in faith, and be courageous and strong.” May God direct you into understanding your purpose in those battles that you are faced and may you continue to be that Ultimate Fighting Champion for Him always.