S77P8 – The courage of the saints: vigilant

1 Cor. 16:13-14

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.

It was quite a wild frontier even when there was peace between the soldiers and the natives.  This was not a surprise considering that there was much tension between the two over the right to own and occupy that land.  Regardless of whether the soldiers’ occupation was right or wrong, it certainly took courage to join the troops who lived in that wilderness fort.  Those who had no experience at the fort might have thought that this courage was needed only during times of battle.  After all, it makes sense that the times of peace should not require any amount of bravery to endure.  The truth, however, was that the soldiers’ courage required not that they only defended when a battle found them but that they also looked for the battles before they even began.

Part of the good saintly courage which God requires of us is the need for us to be prepared for that which requires this courage.  No, the scriptures do not instruct us to go looking for trouble and picking fights with the enemy.  However, we also are not to wander this world oblivious to the battles which could be and often are right around the corner.  Our Father wants us always to be on guard.  Like the soldiers in the towers who look to see the enemy coming from afar, we are to be vigilant of our enemy’s attacks.  We do not keep an eye out because we are afraid but because we are wise.  When we see the opponent approaching in the distance, we courageously gird ourselves and prepare to engage.  Having saintly courage means that we desire to engage that enemy because we are prepared and truly honored to do so.

As God’s army, we saints are called to be prepared and willing to do the work God has for us to do.  One sign which indicates that we lack the courage our Father desires is that we start to pretend that there is no battle to fight at all.  We throw in the towel before the fight even begins. If we are courageous as we should be we will welcome the battle because we will be prepared and on guard at all times.  We can be ready only if we take the time to let the Spirit increase our wisdom and discernment as well as our courage so that we will be willing and ready to fight at a moment’s notice.  Father, make us not only courageous but also prepared to fight as You would have us fight and to do so only with the goal of bringing You glory.