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Prayer for the Week February 18 – Prepared for the Storm

February 18, 2013

“Give me a tornado any day over an earthquake, because at least I can see a tornado coming!”

I’ve heard that said so many times.  I’ve even said it myself.  There is just something awful about the very earth under your feet moving without warning.  Living in Southern California for a good portion of my life, I’ve felt far too many of them and they never cease to terrify me.  It goes without saying tornadoes can be equally as terrifying and destructive and once you’ve heard the roar of the tornado freight train coming you’re way you’ll just never look at weather the same way again!  I think we can all agree that no one ever enjoys these heart gripping events because they show us just how small we are in this great big world.

What of life’s other storms?  Those other earth shattering, heart gripping moments when life throws you a curve ball?  Let’s be honest.  We don’t like those either.  We just don’t like bad surprises at all and that’s all right.  We must know how to deal with them though.  We must have prepared our hearts for the inevitable difficulties.

You are my hope in the day of doom.  (Jeremiah 17:17)

Beloved as we journey through this life we must be wise.  We must build a firm foundation of God’s Word in our hearts.  We have to know who we are and whose we are, then when trouble comes we will not faint.  Proverbs 24:10 says, “If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength.”  The Holman Christian Standard Bible translates the verse this way, “If you do nothing in a difficult time, your strength is limited.”  That translation should show us that we have to actively be doing something during the trouble or our strength is decreased.  That means we can’t be running around like a chicken with its head cut off, in a complete panic!  We have be wearing the armor of God and we have to be in prayer.  But, if we haven’t prepared ourselves in the first place we can’t possibly respond correctly in the panic of the moment.

How do we prepare?

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-17)

No soldier would knowingly go into battle without his full armor.  Every single piece of it could mean the difference between life and death.  God knew this when He told us to put on the full armor.  He tells to take our stand first with the Belt of Truth.  The belt is the foundation of the Word in our life.  We must be in the Word daily, no excuses!  We have to be reading, memorizing, and talking about it with our families every day for it to take a hold of our hearts and not depart from us in the storm.  Our belt of truth is what will keep us from believing the devil’s lies.

Then we put on our Breastplate of Righteousness.  Proverbs 11:4 says, “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”  What is righteousness?  Psalm 119:172 tells us that God’s commands are righteous.  If we are not following God’s commands we will absolutely fall into sin.  To be righteous we must be following God’s commands through the grace of His Son, Jesus.  Through faith and love it will be counted to us as righteousness.

Our Feet are Shod with the Gospel of Peace.  Our feet give us speed and agility in battle.  We cannot forget to protect them.  Recognizing that it is failure to rely on our own works and thought patterns we have to have trained ourselves to trust in God’s Word.  Look, if our response to trouble is to start trying to work it out from our own understanding or humanistic world-view instead of measuring the giant according to the Word of God, our feet will slip right out from under us and suddenly we’re laying down in the valley of death instead of walking through it!

The Shield of Faith is my favorite piece of the armor only second to the sword (’cause I get to do some damage with that!)  The Word tells us that with the shield of faith not only do I get to block the blows of the enemy, the shield actually extinguishes his fiery arrows!  This then is my first piece of offensive weaponry, my faith.  Even the apostles who walked with Jesus, asked Him to increase their faith.  If they who walked with Him, had to ask for the increase how much more do I need to do so!  Faith is how we move mountains (Mathew 21:21.)  Faith is how we learn to walk without sight (2 Corinthians 5:7.)  Faith is how we please God in our lives as believers.  Hebrews 11:6 says that it is impossible to please God without faith.  Faith is stepping out when we can’t see the outcome.  It’s the ultimate measure in trusting God.

The Helmet of Salvation.  Our salvation is our hope in Christ Jesus and we develop it the same way we develop our faith.  We have to know what God has promised us so that we do not become distracted at the first sign of trouble.  God is our hope and we can have unfailing expectation of His ability to accomplish His promises.

No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,and my hope is in you all day long.  (Psalm 25:3-5)

Finally, the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God spoken with the power of the Holy Spirit.  Again this is about the Word of God.  We have to know it.  Don’t kid yourself into believing the enemy doesn’t know the Word, because he does.  He used the Word to tempt Jesus and Jesus used the Word to end the temptation and sent the enemy packing.  If this is the way Jesus fought satan how much more important is it for us to use the Word as our sword?  Don’t get into arguing matches with the enemy!  You’ll just waste your energy.  One strategically and intentionally utilized scripture and you are suddenly on the offensive and the enemy is on the defensive.  Fight from a place of victory!

The armor of God on us and the way we take a stand is completely defined by the Word of God in us.  If you don’t spend your time in the Word before the storm you will never be prepared to take your stand and the enemy knows it!  He will do everything in his power to keep you from reading the Bible, having your daily devotions, or going to church.  Of course he’s not going to just let you!  He hates the Word of God because it tells him of his future and of yours.  Beloved, be in relentless pursuit of the Word of God before the storm hits and then you will be prepared and the Spirit of God will be in you to do the battle for you.

Father God,
You give us everything we need to prepare for the storms of life.  We know we are weak and you are strong.  Please help us relentlessly pursue your Word without fail.  Let this be our battle cry to strengthen and support our families.  “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.  In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.”  (Psalm 33:20-22)
In Jesus’ Name we pray.

(Linked to A Wise Woman Link-Up)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Andrea permalink
    February 18, 2013 3:53 pm

    So beautiful…. and fortifying, Kristina. I needed to read this. Thank you for sharing the words God gave you for this blog today.

    These words in particular are going to stay with me:

    “We have to know who we are and who’s we are…”

    Please pray for me. I am in a spiritual upheaval. I know who I am & who’s I am… but I’m struggling with “church”. I was raised Catholic (baptized, parochial school, married, had my children baptized, etc. etc.) but accepted my Lord as Savior in my mid-20’s. However now (& has been for what seems like forever!) it’s the going-to-church thing. Catholic church? Bible-based non-denominational church? Worship at home? Ack!! I feel like a ball in a pinball machine. 😦

    Anyway, enough about that. I’d appreciate your prayers & Daja’s too. And thank you again for this beautiful entry today.


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