Friday, January 26, 2024

Armed for Battle - Martin Wiles

armed for battle
You have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet. Psalm 18:39 NLT

Not all battles use guns, tanks, planes, and ships.

John* was accustomed to the oxygen machine snuggled in the pouch hanging around his neck. And he was also used to the apparatus under his nose and the long cumbersome line he had to manage as he walked around. What he hadn’t planned on was a stint in the hospital or a long recuperation period where he was confined to his home.

Flu season was terrible that winter, and although John didn’t get the flu, he got bronchitis and pneumonia—courtesy of his COPD. Doctors thought one round in the hospital was enough, but it wasn’t. John wound up there again, and when he finally came home, he did so with home health care visiting him several times a week, along with a therapist.

John and his wife were regular churchgoers, but this episode took them away for almost two months. Although the battle was tough—and John had periods when he worried whether he was going to make it—John fought like a trooper. Everyone smiled and greeted him and his wife warmly when they finally returned to church. While he fought his battle, church members sent him cards and food and called regularly to check on them. John was ready, no matter how the battle ended.

My grandmother, on the other hand, worried a little more than John. Until she got older, she never worried about her health. But when she began to feel the effects of aging, she convinced herself she had cancer. She had no signs—and tests showed nothing—but she knew she was dying with cancer. She didn’t. She died of effects related to Alzheimer’s. She also wasn’t convinced she was armed for the battle against what she only had in her mind.

I’ve been in similar battles as my grandmother. Periods when I convinced myself I had some awful disease the doctors hadn’t discovered. Or when I felt a little twinge in my chest and thought a heart attack was imminent. I saw others fight terrible physical battles—and wondered if I could do the same. At other times, my emotions traveled to forbidden areas—and sometimes my feet followed.

David’s battles were physical, emotional, and warlike, but God armed him for them all—as He does all His followers.

God provides spiritual armor for the spiritual battles we fight with temptation: the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the shoes of peace. He gives us the mind of Christ so we can control the emotions that would lead us down destructive pathways. And He gives us amazing bodies that are created in such a way they can ward off many physical attacks and can be worked on by doctors who can remove, exchange, or juggle around parts.

Regardless of the nature of the battle, God provides what we need to fight it. Look to Him when your fight comes.

Father, I trust You to arm me for whatever battle comes our way. 

Tweetable: Are you armed for spiritual battle? 

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