Why Do You Need a Fighting Faith?

by Aimee Byrd

Bruce Lee isn’t exactly someone we would think of as a Christian role model. He was an atheist. But he said something about the martial arts that reminds me so much of the exhortation to persevere in Hebrews 10:23. Behold Bruce Lee’s wisdom:

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

Think about that for a second. Who cares if you’ve practiced 10,000 kicks one time? You’re still an amateur. It is far better to master one thing than to be slipshod at 10,000. To master something you must exercise it over, and over, and over again. Muscle memory develops so that the movement becomes instinctive. Your body just knows it. In the realm of martial arts, an opponent who has practiced one kick 10,000 times really is someone to be feared. He or she has reached a level of fitness and stamina to exercise a particular skill with great strength and perfection.

So, what is the connection with Hebrews’ message of perseverance? I believe the preacher to the Hebrews is saying the same thing as Lee. His sermon-letter was written to exhort the intended first audience of Jewish believers to persevere in the Christian faith and not to turn back to their old-covenant sacrificial system and ceremonies. And yet this message was not only written for a congregation over 2,000 years ago. It is God’s Word to us now.

After studying all the sermon says about who God is and what he has done in Christ, I was captivated by a particular command that the preacher lays out to press the reader to persevere:

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Heb. 10:23)

To persevere, we are told to hold fast to the confession of hope that this preacher has already faithfully delivered.

Christian, what do you believe? This is a very important question, because your answer, and your ability to hold tightly to a proper confession, is directly connected to your perseverance in the Christian life…

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