“BE STRONG IN THE LORD, AND IN THE STRENGTH OF HIS MIGHT. PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD, THAT YOU MAY BE ABLE TO STAND FIRM AGAINST THE SCHEMES OF THE DEVIL” (EPH. 6:10-11).
Adequate preparation is the key to spiritual victory.
The Gulf War introduced some highly sophisticated weapons that had never been proven under live battle conditions. Most of the troops hadn’t experienced war either. Yet troops and machinery combined in a display of military conquest unparalleled in history.
Thorough preparation proved to be an indispensible element in that overwhelming victory. That included developing and testing high-tech weaponry, recruiting and training troops, and engaging in mock battles. Generals know that if they dare enter a battlefield ill-prepared, they’re destined for defeat. Consequently, they do everything possible to prepare their troops for victory.
Similarly, your success in spiritual warfare is directly proportional to your preparedness. You must “be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might” (Eph. 6:10), and also put on your armor (v. 11). God is your strength and source of victory, but you must trust Him and appropriate your spiritual resources. As Oliver Cromwell said, “Trust in God and keep your powder dry.”
If you delay preparation until the battle is upon you, then it’s too late. If your armor isn’t in place, you’re vulnerable to the arrows of the enemy. If you neglect prayer, worship, Bible study, accountability, and the other disciplines of faith, you can’t expect to prevail when spiritual skirmishes arise.
No soldier who values his own life would step onto a battlefield unprepared. How much more should soldiers of Christ prepare themselves to fight against Satan’s forces? Be diligent. Christ guarantees ultimate victory, but you can lose individual battles if you’re unprepared. It’s even possible to lapse into periods of spiritual lethargy, indifference, impotency, and ineffectiveness, but that’s utterly inconsistent with your mandate to fight the good fight (1 Tim. 1:18).
Don’t be caught off guard! Keep your armor on and remain alert to the advances of the enemy.
Suggestions for Prayer
- Ask God to keep you alert to the reality of spiritual warfare and the need to be prepared at all times for battle.
- Thank Him for the times He protected you when your armor wasn’t as secure as it needed to be.
For Further Study
- Memorize 2 Timothy 2:4 as a reminder to be spiritually prepared at all times.
From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, http://www.crossway.com.