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Special Guest Ken Shamrock
Miles McPherson and Ken Shamrock - June 14, 2015

Message Recap

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”  Revelation 12:7-12

This passage tells us several important points as we prepare to hear today’s message.

Satan is the “accuser of our brethren.” If you ever feel accused or put down in your own mind, that is instigated by the devil. God doesn't accuse us, but encourages and affirms us.

Followers of Christ have overcome the devil by the blood of the Lamb. In the Old Testament, the Jews were instructed to kill an unblemished lamb and paint their doorposts with its blood. When the Angel of Death came by, killing each first born over every household, the blood of the lamb protected the Jewish households and they were “passed over.”  Likewise, Jesus shed His sinless blood on the cross, paying the price for our sin that we may be passed over – not condemned, but saved and given eternal life in heaven. Because of this, the devil has no more authority over your life if you are a believer.

Followers of Christ have also overcome the devil by the word of their testimony. What’s your life like now that you know Jesus? How is God changing you?

Today’s special guest is Ken Shamrock, the godfather of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting. He has won multiple championships and been elected to the UFC Hall of Fame. Ken is here to share his personal testimony of what God has done in his life.

Ken grew up with his mother and two brothers in Georgia. He describes his neighborhood as the ghetto with no beds and no mirrors in the house. His mother was a go-go dancer, working at night and sleeping during the day, so Ken and his brothers were pretty much raising themselves. He was the only white kid in his class among all African-Americans. At this period in history (late 60’s early 70’s), racial tension was at a peak and Ken’s life was like a war zone. Even at age 5, he was fighting for survival and was surrounded by tension and violence.

When Ken was about 8 years old, his mother met a man in the military and the whole family packed up and moved to Napa, California. Ken experienced a lot of frustration and anger during this time. For years, he and his brothers had been living in very harsh conditions, enduring sexual abuse and violence on a regular basis. Now he was brought to what was meant to be paradise: a peaceful California home with toys, beds, and mirrors, and an all-white school with children who had been raised properly and were well-educated. It was such a dramatic change that Ken felt displaced and very angry. He did not want to interact with anyone, so he would stare everyone down so as not to be approached.

Ken was a real standout in his school; he dressed differently, talked differently, and walked differently. If anyone dared to approach the unapproachable Ken, their intentions were obviously not good. One day when four students surrounded Ken and began to ridicule and threaten him, his survival mindset kicked in and he immediately attacked one of the boys and began to fight him intensely. To Ken, this was normal life.

We are all on a journey to know Christ and fill the empty space in our hearts that only God can fill. Our paths look different, but a journey through hardship and pain on the way to discovering God’s peace is something we can all experience.

We are all on a journey to know Christ and fill the empty space in our hearts that only God can fill. Our paths look different, but a journey through hardship and pain on the way to discovering God’s peace is something we can all experience.

By age 10, Ken had been in and out of group homes. One day while on a home pass to visit his mother, he found her reading the Bible. She invited him to go to church and attend a neighborhood appreciation event to pass out flyers and gum door-to-door. Ken’s intention was only to get out of the house. He carried the box of flyers and just walked along, chewing the gum and enjoying life while other kids witnessed and passed out the flyers. As he was walking, however, he stepped off a curb and was suddenly filled with an odd sense of peace. He had never had such a sensation of “no worries” and “no trouble” come over him before. He didn’t know what it was. He felt confused and didn’t want to tell anyone at the risk of sounding weird. But finally he did tell one of the adult leaders, who explained that what Ken had felt was the Holy Spirit coming over him. Ken didn’t fully understand, but he knew he wanted more and he didn’t want to let it go.

Because God has written eternity in your heart, you yearn for that. You may seek to find it in relationships, love, success, or other affirmations, but no substitute can fill that need. Only meeting Jesus and truly knowing the Father can fulfill all the peace you seek.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33

Ken believes that because he had been so angry all his life, that God gave him an outlet to release it all. He began to vent his  frustrations through sports and fighting. It was the perfect place to release all his anger, because MMA was not about hurting the opponent, but winning. He excelled at fighting, but experiencing great success has its dangers, too. Ken warns that as a career progresses, it can become your god. Then suddenly, God can take it away. There’s always a clock in sports – as you get older, younger and stronger players come on the scene. As his career suffered more hits over time, Ken’s wife suggested that maybe it was time to hang it up. And then Ken realized: he had taken the platform God had given him for ministry and placed it above God.

Everybody is susceptible to putting other things before God. Maybe we stop praying every day or reading our Bibles. We can start focusing out attention on other things that we think will bring us happiness. This is simply idolatry.

During this time in Ken’s life, God was speaking to him and began to ask him to do things that felt uncomfortable. He asked Ken to go to Modesto (3-4 hours away), to worship, speak, and engulf himself in the Word. Ken felt confused – how could he tell his wife?

One morning, as God’s urging had not ceased, Ken finally just sat up in bed in the morning and told his wife what he felt God wanted him to do. Her response was shocking, as she said, “I know.”  For Ken, this was a moment that made him feel so small. He learned that if God had asked him to do something that important, the details were already done and God had already taken care of it.

Maybe you are at a crossroads, too, debating whether to say “yes” or “no” to God. Ken’s story can be an encouragement to trust that it is not your job to know everything or work out every detail; it’s your job to surrender and follow.

When Ken once again held God in the proper place, first in his life, God replaced his career and gave it back to him in a new way. (Ken is fighting this Friday night!)

Will you say "yes" to God? He wants to give you power over the pain, despair, and demons in your life. By trusting in Christ, you can be forgiven, restored, and in the right relationship with God. Listen to the small still voice of God in your heart saying, "Today is the day! Now is the time!"

To read more about Ken and watch a documentary of his life, visit:

This Message

In this message, Pastor Miles interviews the beloved MMA and UFC champion, Ken Shamrock. Ken shares how God gave and took away in his life and how he learned to put God first.

Message Resources

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