Getting ready to be a soldier is no easy task. I have watched as several young people that I have known have gone off to boot camp as they entered the military. It was a trying and difficult time, yet it prepared them for some difficult days.
In conversations with veterans and some people who are still in the military I have learned that combat is a very difficult place. Some people have talked about, prepared for and be sent off to battle but were not fully ready for what came their way. To be prepared is always takes physical, emotional and spiritual training.
Spiritual battle much like physical battles take training, and God has given us advise and marching orders through the Bible to prepare us for the battles that we will be part of. Some of us have experienced out right war. Others have gone through small battles, but all those who follow Jesus will go through warfare at some point.
Are we prepared for what we will face? Our kids go off to school to be trained. Their minds are sharped through the lessons and interaction of being at school, yet it is not until those skills are used and experience is gained that someone is really ready.
Here is some of what God tells us about being ready for the battles we go through in life:
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Put on the armor. The armor is what God provides. Often this is taking the truth we get from God and believing it and applying it to our lives. Armor comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes physically, and the same is true for spiritual armor God gives us.
Realize we have an enemy. The attacks are coming, and we must be ready for them. Knowing who the enemy is really is a big deal. People are not the enemy. Situations are not our enemy. Satan who leads the world is our enemy, and he is trying to keep us from following God.
Stand on and hold on to the truth. Truth will take us the furthest we can go. You don’t have to defend truth. Lies and deception have to be covered up and defended. The truth will get us through when nothing else will.
Watch out for the battles coming your way. The word is to watching for the fiery arrows of the Devil. He will shoot at us. In fact Satan, the Devil, will find our weakest points and fire at them. That is why our weakest spots have to be covered by the armor God gives us.
Trust God, do what He says and stay alert. The fact is we cannot succeed without God. We are desperate for Him and in desperate need when we are not with Him. To stay alert is literally to stay connected to God through prayer and listening. God will protect us. That is His promise. God will fight for us. That is another of His promises. All He asks is for us to be prepared.
What are the battles you are facing? Where are the fiery arrows coming from and where are they hitting you? Be prepared. Prepare yourself as God says. I honestly believe that God’s best for you and me includes us staying so close to Him that the enemy has to work extra hard to get to us. The battles are coming our way, but I suggest and I pray that we are prepared as we connected to and trusting God all the way.
Pray for the back2school outreach, the six churches working together and for the over 2,000 students we will serve on Saturday, August 3rd.