El Matador

Guest Post – Gleysi Rauel 

Have you ever had the chance to see, whether in a TV series or a movie, a bullfight in Spain? On Sunday afternoons, entire villages and towns gather at the city arena to cheer on El Matador and entertain themselves with a spectacle. Through endless chants of “Olé!” multitudes of people expect the bullfighter to show his rhythmic skills and precision to inflict pain and unfold his Machiavellian plan. Infuriating his opponent out of balance and control, a much stronger adversary subdued to a character with a cape, hidden weapons, and evil schemes to end his opponent’s life through gruesome hurt and pain.

El Matador begins his scene with the least lethal weapon of all, the Red Cape. At a glance, it is not even a weapon but manipulated by a master in provocations, and it is very effective to shift his opponent’s focus. While the cape itself is not a threat, has no power, can’t even stand alone, and is merely insignificant, at the hands of El Matador, it is used to shift the focus from who the real enemy is. 

The enemy hides behind the cape, and the bull is completely enticed by the object waving and flapping in front of his eyes. The cape is irritating and provoking, creating chaos – such an insignificant object but capable of controlling the animal’s mind leading him from the true source of evil, the Matador behind the cape. At each “Olé!” chanted by the crowd, the bull becomes more and more enticed by the false enemy wasting his strength and energy on the wrong thing.

El Matador knows that the more exhausted his enemy is, the less resistance he will face. The bull’s reflexes will be careless, and at the appropriate moment, the moment of least resistance when the guards are down, El Matador shows his true intent and uses his sharp sword to pierce this powerful opponent. 

The art of El Matador is not to kill at once because he would have to show his true intention up front, but his scheme is to strike the sword when the bull least expects it. While the bull is fighting the wrong fight, focused on an enemy that does not pose any threat to him, his anger, frustration, lack of focus, and discernment leads him to a very slow and painful death. Ultimately, el Matador carries out his plan. So many victories, El Matador’s cape has killed too many bulls! 

It doesn’t take much to understand the story and realize a close parallel between El Matador from the arenas in Spain and the enemy of our human souls, Lucifer – the devil. He is the greatest Matador that has ever existed. The Bible says he is a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). He does not kill bulls or animals, but his schemes aim to steal, kill and destroy human life through a spectacle for all to see. Our enemy has enticed and spiritually (and physically) killed too many Christians using the same strategy. 

You are in the arena of life every day, so my question is, can you identify the true enemy? Can you stop focusing on the Red Cape manipulated in front of you? Your enemy is not your spouse, boss, coworker, business partner, and so forth. Behind every situation is a true Matador whose intent is to inflict pain and death on you. One of the greatest spiritual gifts you can ask God is to have discernment and see things as they really are. 

Identify the source and fight the right battles. The Holy Spirit will give you the right strategy to counterattack and be victorious in Jesus’ Name. 

My prayer is that you can take a step back in the heat of confrontation and ask God to show you the true source of the conflict – Who is manipulating this cape in front of me? The victory starts when we know who our enemy is and where we find true strength.

Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

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