Day 3 – Armed and Ready

sword and shieldI have been so excited to get into God’s word that last night I almost just stayed up past midnight getting started.  I probably should have…might have been divine prompting…because this morning has been one mishap after another.  I’m on outfit number 3.  I apparently have 6 single socks with no partner…I searched with that silly IPhone flashlight everywhere I could think of and managed to knock more things over in my attempt to be quiet than you could possibly imagine.  Making coffee has proven problematic but I have prevailed and it is almost ready…so in about 15 minutes this writing might actually make sense!

Yesterday my class began a new vocab list.  I had forgotten what most of the words were due to our extended snow vacation (yay!) last week.  One of the words was rejoice!  How cool is that! I felt that it was God confirming His call to rejoice!

One of the other words was sentinel…a guard, watchman, or protector.  I thought how in all my angst at this life I have forgotten about my calling as a watchman at the gate for my family.

I have always loved the picture of the Israelites rebuilding the wall in Nehemiah.

When our enemies heard that it was known to us and that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each to his work.  From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail.  And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, who were building on the wall.  Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other.  And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built.  Nehemiah 4:18

What a great reminder that as we work to rebuild our families, we are to be prepared for battle. We are to have our weapons handy.  We are to be armed with the word of God.  We are to be ready to wield that sword of the Spirit with gusto!

But I know me…and maybe some of you…I tend to take that picture and imagine myself slaying dragons and winning battles for my family…forgetting that a little farther down in that passage is the sentence:

Our God will fight for us.  (4:20b)

You know what?  That sounds great to me!  I’m pretty weary…a weary warrior to be sure.  And God, the creator of all things, has all the power and strength I need and some.

So what am I supposed to do?  What is my role in this battle for my family…for the heart and soul of myself and my children?

Being armed for battle means I’m ready to fight.  I’m in a position to stand strong in the face of adversity.  I’m ready and willing to follow the order of my Commander and Chief.  I’m aware of the struggle, the temptations, the trials, the tests…the arrows of the evil one.

And I don’t run ahead into the battle without my Father’s leading…and my Father’s protection.

For too long I have continued to wage this war for peace in my life without taking a moment to consult with the author and perfecter of my faith.  For too long I have run into battle without armor…without my sword.  For too long I have relied on my own battle plans, my own strategies, my own strength…I have come to the point of exhaustion…I am wounded, weary, and worn…Medic!

In just a few short days I have felt the reviving of my soul, the calming of my heart, and the joy of the Lord infusing me with a new hope.  Yesterday wasn’t amazing in any other way, except that I was ready for it.  It was not easier or less stressful, but I had my weapon in hand…I had God’s word in the front of my brain.  I had put it before my eyes and started the day with His perspective, not my own.

I was working armed with the knowledge that God is always with me.  And when those arrows flew my way yesterday, I was able to deflect them with that knowledge.  I was able to say, “I am precious, honored and loved…nothing can separate me from the love of God (not even me)…He will never (not ever) leave me nor forsake me…in all these things I can rejoice!”

And in rejoicing, I find the joy of the Lord truly is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

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4 Comments

  1. Good morning Ann. I was 58 when my husband left our marriage for another woman. He deliberately meant to do me harm and openly continues to reject our children and grandchildren and all who love him. His behavior was full of directed wickedness as he was successfully determined to be free to be with her. More sadly, I understand that he has resended his declaration of Christian faith to a more existential philosophy. We were married 31 years. His leaving has been almost 5 years ago yet can produce crushing pain of memories on occasions . I confess his leadership reflected narcissism and non-belief and my own responses were co-dependent and sinful in my desperation to be seen and heard within the marriage. Deadly combinations. But, by mercy alone in Christ, I am a favored, chosen child of my Abba. I, however, openly admit I am often confused and full of heartbreak within His providences of my broken and messy healings. I truly appreciate the way you share God’s ever-present promises of sustaining Grace and the granting of encouragement and strengthening faith from His Word. I embrace this prayer of encouragement for you today especially unknowing of your circumstances. May God’s unexhausting mercy and grace keep you courageous to speak honestly from your heart in His ministering to yourself, myself and others. May His promises, with perfect surety, to win your battles be full of evidence and praises of confession today. May His gifts of repentance unto forgiveness and revealing changes of direction be solid for you today. These gifts of victory will include all the seductions of wanting to deny and disengage from events of obvious destructions and fallouts from divorce. May those reckless and damning manipulations from cowardly husbands and fathers be tempered by living hope in /from Christ Jesus. I may be way off base and forgive me of such but sounds like we both must be lovingly confronted daily, by the power of His Spirit, to make continual connections where forgiving grace and wild celebration is found and practiced. May our days actually receive and yield enormous “acceptance with Joy” to surrender to His will for ourselves and others. May we find our security of “this is a wonderful life” in Him alone which happens to be our eternal blessings toward the chaos of being alive and being us. Thank you for the encouragment of your blog. A woman from Picket Fences, an online Christian ministry addressing divorce issues to women, testified to her own encouragement from you. With my strong cowardice in pride and often unbelief and a stronger conviction that Christ is the only atoning Lover, I send my greetings of thanks. Sharon

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