Ready for Battle
When soldiers go into battle, they do not take off their armor. They don’t forget to put it on because they know the importance of each piece. Putting it all on has become a habit. There are pieces of armor Christians must put on every morning to face the day of battle against Satan and our sinful natures. We are going up against a master of lies and one who has had thousands of years to practice and perfect his craft. How could we possibly think we can jump out of bed and survive without our armor and Christ by our side? When we take time to listen and talk to God in the morning, we are better prepared for the day. There are too many people claiming to be Christians but not prepared to share the Good News nor do they even look like they have good news at all. That frown, that scowl does not lead people to believe we are Christ followers, and it certainly does not reflect Him.
How often do we run off into our days complaining about one thing or another and forgetting our joy? I have been guilty of this for far too long. I hate getting up in the morning, and my first thoughts used to be negative. But I am now trying to start my day thanking God for everything I can think of when I get up. I am grateful that I can breathe and exercise. I am so very grateful that I have clean, warm running water to shower and cold filtered water to drink. When you realize how many people don’t have safe water available to them, you have no choice but to be thankful. Those are very simple things to praise God for, but as my list goes on my attitude toward the day shifts. It’s hard to be grumpy when you start your day with praise. But, guess what, you have to keep doing it all day long. Every time you feel the complaints bubbling up, get back to thanking God for life, coffee, air conditioning, whatever you can think of. If you are intentional and sincere about it, it will help. It is easy to just list off the things you are thankful for, but if you make each one a whole sentence, your focus moves to what God has given you to live the life He wants you to live.
When we’ve started our day correctly, we are ready to put on the armor. I wrote about “armoring up” back in October, but we have to remember we are fighting a practiced warrior. You can’t fight someone like that without training yourself. Are you training yourself by reading God’s Word and spending time with Him every day? Do you have rebuttals to those doubts and fears that creep up on you during the day? The belt of truth is buckled on when we are rooted in the Truth of God’s Word. And we can only be rooted if we immerse ourselves in it. We are also not buckling on the belt of our own truth or the world’s truth, and we’re definitely not listening to Satan’s “truth.” We can’t bend the truth to suit ourselves. That kind of “truth” leads us down the wrong path.
The breastplate of righteousness is the next piece. Again, this is not our own righteousness and us being proud of how godly we are, but it is Christ’s righteousness which far exceeds our childish attempts. The only way we can stand before God is through Christ’s glory, erasing all of our failures and sins.
Then we have the footwear. We can’t go into battle with flip flops on. We have to be ready to deliver the Good News everywhere. We are to have shoes that fit, and they need to be ones that will carry us wherever God wants us to go. I will continue with the next pieces of armor next week.