Winning every time
Your mercies, God, run into the billions; following your guidelines, revive me. My antagonists are too many to count, but I don’t swerve from the directions you gave...Your words all add up to the sum total: Truth. (Psalm 119:160)
An "antagonist" is something that competes with something or someone so as to counteract the actions of the thing it is competing against. For example, when we give an antibiotic, the purpose is to counteract the 'hostile biologic organism' that is attacking your body and bringing illness to it. The antibiotic launches a counterattack against the bacteria that has multiplied within your body. The result is noticed when the bacteria begin to die, and the effects of its attack are no longer observed. Some antagonists are good - others can actually be quite harmful when left to their own devices, though. It might just do us well to actually understand some of the harmful antagonists in our lives if we are ever to launch a good fight against them. We must recognize them if we are to counteract them with our own defensive strike.
Antagonistic influences are all around us - acting as triggers for some particular reaction from us. Just as the invading bacteria begins to affect our bodies, the 'invading influences' we allow to go unchecked in our lives can get out of control, leaving us weak and wounded. "Invading influences" are really those things that 'trigger' us into doing something we know isn't the best thing for us to be doing. For example, if viewing certain things on the television stir up thoughts about how 'hum-drum' your relationship is with your spouse, the next thought might be to consider what it would be like to be with that handsome guy or beautiful girl you work with. In time, those 'unchecked' influences you continue to entertain may actually lead you to make a choice to cheat on your spouse. Did you purposefully set out to do that? Not likely, but those 'unchecked influences' that seek to invade our thoughts and hearts can lead to some pretty dumb mistakes.
The antagonistic influences we experience are not without God's 'counteractive measures'. Why do you think God tells us to get his Word 'inside' of us? When we are bombarded by antagonistic influences, we can counteract them with the TRUTH. Truth is the 'antidote' to any lie from the enemy of our souls. Truth is the foundation upon which we launch all our counterattacks against the antagonistic influences in our lives. This might seem a little too simple for some - believing there must be some other thing needed to fight off temptation within their lives. The more TRUTH we put into our lives, allowing it to actually take root and create a solid foundation upon which we make decisions, the less the antagonistic forces will have an inroad into our lives. If you don't believe me, begin to put the TRUTH into your life and see for yourself. Truth is not negotiable - it wins every time! Just sayin!