If you watch her, she’s got the form.

Her fists are tightly wound and snug in the boxing gloves. She’s poised and if you watch her swing, you can almost hear the smack of contact.

Except the swing hits air.

She’s shadowboxing. There’s no one on the other side of her swing but an imaginary opponent. It’s the fight before the fight — you know, the one where the smack is real and the opponent is swinging too.

Shadowboxing is a great training exercise if you are a boxer, but it was never intended to be the real fight. It’s the warmup.

Yet spiritually that’s where many of us do our fighting and we don’t even have boxing gloves on. 

I’ve been there too many times. 

We gear up when our heart is hurt. We throw a punch with a passive aggressive statement, or that glare or that silence that weighs heavy in the room.

Punch, punch, swing and jab.

It never hits the real enemy, but it sideswipes a husband, or the clerk who is doing everything but checking out our groceries. It forces us to live with our “dukes up” internally at all times, making us tired, tired, oh-so-tired.

We have lots of excuses for our shadowboxing.

So stressed.

We’re tired.

Just a little cranky.

Oh and don’t forget about that person. That circumstance. That [fill in the blank].

All the while the real enemy is having a heyday with our heart, our family, our relationships, our health.

This is not the way we are supposed to live. Not as woman of faith. Not as a child of the most high God.


So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Acts 1:8 

I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. Luke 10:19

But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you. 1 John 2:27

We can keep swinging at all the wrong things or we can fight the real enemy. 

That right jab of truth connects with the enemy as we stand firm. That deep swing toward prayer warns him that we aren’t playing anymore.

We fight in the power of His Word and in His might, and those who have been the unfortunate recipients of our former shadowboxing get to see a woman who is a real fighter, strong and firmly rooted.

Praise the Lord, who is my rock.
He trains my hands for war
and gives my fingers skill for battle.

Psalm 144:1

Let’s wrap our hands.

Let’s take a stance.

Let’s swing in faith and watch it connect with the real enemy.

No more shadowboxing for this girl. What about you?



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