Are You Prepared for Battle?

Are You Prepared for Battle?

A good soldier never goes into battle without preparation. From what he wears, to the weapons he wields, he knows his life depends on being completely prepared. From what he wears, to the weapons he wields, he knows his life depends on being completely prepared.

What companion would you choose if you were going into battle? A well-trained soldier in combat gear with weapons loaded and ready? Or, someone trained to throw things or tackle people, outfitted with knee pads and shiny helmet? Of course, we would choose the soldier, not the athlete!

Most people enjoy watching the athlete do his thing on the field, but we wouldn’t necessarily want to put our lives in their hands in a combat zone. A soldier would make us feel much more confident because they are ready, they are capable, and they have the right gear.

In life, we often go to battle unprepared. We’re geared up for a good game when things suddenly turn real.

Spiritually, every day is a battle. And, just like in life, we sometimes charge in without preparing for war. Then, we sulk in defeat wondering why we didn’t win!

Preparation before the battle is crucial.

We need the right training.

We need experience wielding our weapons.

And, we need the right gear to protect us from our enemy.

What the Bible says about gearing up

Ephesians 6:11-17
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Notice that, first of all, we must put on the whole armor of God. That means everything. We can’t just pick up the pieces we think look the most fashionable, or the pieces that aren’t too heavy. A good soldier never leaves a piece of his gear behind; not even in sweltering heat or freezing cold. A good soldier shoulders the weight of his equipment, even when malnourished, without sleep, and deep in enemy territory.

In spiritual warfare, we need all that God has for us so that we can stand against the enemy who wars for our souls. The devil, the Bible says, is out to kill, steal, and destroy.

That means we have a real battle to fight. If we put on the whole armor of God, we will be able to stand.

The Whole Armor of God

The Belt of Truth:

The belt worn by a Roman soldier was necessary because it firmly secured the soldier’s weapons needed to fight. If we are to stand up to evil, we must be firmly secured in the Truth.

The Word of God is like a sharp double-edged sword, but we must make sure it is secure in our hearts. That’s why David said he hid the Word of God in his heart, that he might not sin.

The Breastplate of Righteousness:

All soldiers wear a protective covering over the vital organs. If his heart or lungs were injured, his life would be in jeopardy. And, when you’re seriously injured, you can’t fight back.

Righteousness means to be in “right standing.” When used in the Biblical context, it means to be in “right standing with God.” Literally, it means that there is nothing wrong with your relationship with God. That there is nothing out of place between you; that you are sinless and pure in your relationship with Him.

So, what Paul is actually saying here in Ephesians, is that having our relationship with God right is what protects our most vital spiritual parts. As the last barrier between attacker and heart, righteousness will save us.

Feet Shod With the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace:

To do battle, a soldier must be prepared to go, and good strong shoes are absolutely necessary. Combat boots are called combat boots for a reason – they’re a vital part of the uniform.

If we’re going to be worth anything on the battlefield, we must be prepared. Spiritually speaking, that means we’re ready to share the Gospel. We need to prepare ourselves to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others.

The Shield of Faith:

The shield protected the soldier from both arrows, and sword blows. Study the Roman legions, and you’ll find they were masters with the shield.

When Paul is laying out the armor, he says the shield of faith is “above all.” Why, do you suppose?

The enemy is always hurling darts and loosing arrows in our direction. When they hit, it hurts. We can only take so much pain.

What keeps us when all else fails? Faith.

Faith is more than believing.

Faith is trusting.

What do I mean by that? When you trust in God, you stand even when everything around you crumbles. It’s that trust that will keep you in the fight, even when every fiber of your being says it’s useless – you still trust in God that He will come through.

With that kind of faith, you will not be defeated no matter what is hurled in your direction. That’s why he said, above all.

Faith is that important. Not just believing in God, but trusting in Him.

That trust is a shield that will stop the deadly darts sent to break us.

The Helmet of Salvation:

No soldier forgets his helmet. He’ll forget his canteen before he forgets his helmet. It protects the soldiers head.

No soldier forgets his helmet. He’ll forget his canteen before he forgets his helmet. It protects the soldiers head.

It. Is. Vital.

It’s interesting that Paul aligned the helmet with salvation.

Most our spiritual battles arPREPe waged in our mind.

The Bible tells us in 2nd Corinthians 10:5, to cast down “imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Think about it: The devil can’t make us do anything. He can’t grab our hand and make us steal. But he is a master at mind games. He can’t make us lie, but he can make us want to lie. And that is a powerful influence.

Where the harshest battles are raged, Paul said it’s salvation that protects us. And I think this is where we see the grace of God at work.

The best attack against a superior enemy is to get him not to fight in the first place. And, whether you realize it or not, with the Holy Ghost, you are the superior enemy.

Therefore, the devil doesn’t attack you head on – he strikes your mind, trying to get you not to fight. The best way he has found to distract us from the real battle is to keep us fighting with ourselves. That is, he keeps us wrestling with our past.

Yep, Jesus forgives us and washes our past away. Yet, the devil wants to remind us of what we used to be. If he can make us feel unworthy of the armor, he can make us stop fighting.

These attacks on the mind are dangerous. But when you have salvation, and you know you have salvation, the mind attacks glance right off!

It’s Time to Suit Up!

Want to be a good soldier, it’s time to gear up and stay geared up. The devil is an evil enemy who never rests. He has only one thing in mind for you and me, and that is total destruction.

He’s not satisfied with stealing from us; he wants to kill us. He’s not happy with killing us; he wants to destroy us.

Lucky for us, God is all the help we need. He has given us his instructions and equipped us with the very best weapons and armor.

So, suit up and start sharpening your sword. We need you in this fight!

Don’t Let Your Past Dictate Your Future

Don’t Let Your Past Dictate Your Future

Do you see as the Hummingbird? Or as the Vulture?

All vultures see is rotting meat. That’s what they look for. They crave dead things. So that’s what they search for.

Hummingbirds ignore the decaying flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for beautiful blossoms of plants.

The vultures live on what used to be. They survive on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. The vulture is, for all intents and purposes, blind to the living things in the desert.

Hummingbirds are different.

They live on what is alive. They fill themselves with the fresh and new. The hummingbird ignores dead things and searches out living things for sustenance.

Here’s the funny thing: Each bird finds what it is looking for.

What are you looking for?

That is a question we should all ask ourselves: Am I looking for happiness among dead things?

For those who keep going back to the same old helpless things, regardless that they have caused pain and destruction in the past, the answer is yes.

Dead things are never associated with pleasant thoughts. It is either thoughts full of sadness, or thoughts tainted by a rotten stench.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Someone once made the brilliant observation, “wherever you go, there you are.” While that saying is painfully obvious, it’s very close to another not-so-obvious truth: Whatever you seek for, you will find. We’re all going to find what we’re looking for, eventually.

Searching for answers to life’s most important questions and never finding them is frustrating. Those who continue to search for life’s answers, again and again in the same places that hold no answers will continue to face frustration.

Those who look to dead things for life will continue to be disappointed. But, those who turn to Jesus find life, and life more abundantly.

Acts 17:27 says to seek the Lord because we’ll find that He’s not far from any of us.

God has made Himself available to us. If you seek Him, you will find him. And, when you find Him, you will find joy everlasting and peace that is beyond all understanding.

Don’t let your past, those dead things in your life, dictate your future.

Start looking for Jesus. You’ll be amazed at what you find.

 

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