Prepared for Battle

Every day we face battles. Some of them are little skirmishes that don’t give us much trouble, but some of them feel more like the Battle of Normandy where the consequences of defeat could be catastrophic. The Bible makes it clear that these battles are inevitable, but it is also full of reminders that defeat is not.

There’s a story in 1 Chronicles about a group of fighting men that waged war against their enemies and were ultimately victorious. The writer points out a couple of key things for us to keep in mind as we head out into our own battlefields.

These men didn’t just challenge their enemies without being prepared. The Bible says that they were “ready for military service.” They had been trained for battle and they knew how to handle the weapons they had at their disposal. It is crucial that we have the same approach. Our battle training comes when we spend time with our Savior in prayer and in the Word of God. That is how we will learn about the plans for battle.

We must also suit up and be ready to use the weapons at our disposal. In Ephesians 6, we learn about our battle gear, the Armor of God. Most of the armor God gives us is defensive so that we can stop the fiery arrows of our enemy, but God also gives us a sword to strike with, the Word of God. When we enter into hand-to-hand combat, we better be ready to use our sword like Jesus did when the devil came against Him in the wilderness. We would be foolish to march out into battle unprepared.

We would be foolish to march into battle unprepared.

Yet even though these fighting men were prepared, at some point they also recognized that they could not win this battle on their own. Somewhere in the midst of the battle, they cried out to the Lord. They remembered the God they served and they trusted in Him to lead them in victory. Because they trusted Him, God answered their prayers and they won the battle. As important as it is to be prepared for battle, we should never try to fight without complete dependence on God. When the battle is raging around us and we feel like defeat is coming, we have to remember God and cry out to Him. Better yet, we shouldn’t even step foot on the battlefield without Him.  We are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, and ultimately, victory over the enemy of our soul comes from God.

…today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. – Deuteronomy 20:3-4

prepared for battle

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