S187P7 – A good start: prepared before the battle

Eph. 6:10-12

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

His was the age of constant warfare.  Civilization was much less civilized, and no one ever saw long periods of peace.  They had spent days awaiting an enemy invasion, but little action happened.  Still, they awoke each morning and made sure to put on what little protective armor they had and continue to practice wielding their weapons.  One morning, after he had grown tired of readying himself for the fight that would never come, he decided to take a day off.  All the other men in camp went through the normal daily routine, but he just lounged around in his cloak, slipping in and out of sleep.  It was during one of these many naps that the enemy arrived, catching him completely off guard, his life being spared only because the rest of his camp was ready for battle. 

When we fight in God’s army, the battles have no schedule.  We are told to be prepared for warfare, but no one ever lets us know when it is right around the corner.  Many of us will experience long periods during which it seems the battles have all been won.  We see and feel no opposition, so we begin to get comfortable.  We forget that the spiritual forces that wage war against us might be at work simply waiting for us to let down our guard.  The thing is, we cannot wait until the battle begins to put on our armor and start practicing using our weapons.  It is too late at that point.  We do not prepare for battle in the midst of battle because that is foolishness.  It is during the times of quiet and apparent peace that the warriors must prepare for the next war.

If we start our days collecting our armor and preparing for a fight that might never happen, we are in a good place.  If we fail to get ready, and we are caught unprepared for an imminent battle, then we are in a bad place.  In that instance, we have given our enemy the advantage simply by underestimating him.  He is a fool, but he is smart.  He will approach when we are at our weakest and most vulnerable, the times when we are out of shape from lack of practice.  Our good daily start requires being prepared for war and not being found without our armor.  Father, give us wisdom to expect a fight always and to ready ourselves for battle each and every day.