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Be Prepared

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“My little brother ate it.” If students put the same energy into their schoolwork as they put into making excuses for not doing it…….. Here’s the rest of my top ten list from unprepared students.

  1. My parents refused to help me. (At 10:30 when you finally started your homework)
  2. Oh, was that due today? (Clutching worksheet with due date in bold font at the top.)
  3. Didn’t I already turn that in? (Incomplete worksheet sitting on desk in plain view)
  4. I had football practice. (Which ended at 6:00 p.m.)
  5. My printer is only black and I wanted to print it in special colors. (This was a research report. Special colors?)
  6. I can’t remember the file name so I couldn’t print it. (So, how will you ever find it?)
  7. I felt sick. (Hmm, you seemed fine at the game last night.)
  8. Well, I had it on a flash drive, but it got lost in the lunch room. (Probably hiding out with a couple retainers somewhere)
  9. I don’t know how to put a document in an e-mail. (Really? My four-year-old granddaughter can do that.)

Often, under pressure, we make excuses. Sometimes we encounter hindrances that we should overcome and instead use them as reasons for failure.   Nehemiah’s building crew faced some major obstacles, like their lives and their families being threatened.  Instead of sympathy or hand holding, he helped the workers prepare for the attack then shouted a rally cry which many have echoed through history.

“Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families with their swords, spears and bows.  After I looked things over, I stood up and said….’Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.’”

To overcome opposition, prayer and preparedness must work hand in hand.  God expects every believer to equip themselves with the armor and weapons with which He endowed us.   The helmet of salvation protects our minds and helps us keep a heavenly perspective on earthly conflict.  The breastplate of righteousness keeps our hearts and motives pure so we fight against our true enemy, not one another.  The belt of truth shields our guts, so we know what’s true and what’s false in our deepest most inner man.  The shoes of the gospel of peace enable us to wade through hell or high water and maintain serenity and objectivity.

Our shield of faith protects us from the verbal and physical assaults of the Tobias’ and Sanballats who will try to prevent us from achieving our destinies.  The sword of the Spirit cuts down strongholds and road blocks the enemy erects against us.

Can we not rally to Nehemiah’s cry today to fight for our homes and families, our churches, schools and cities?  While the tide of evil continues to rise in our cities and countries will we wring our hands or look to governments to solve problems with spiritual roots?  Are we so absorbed in our comfortable lives we are deaf to the pleas for prayer and support from those engaged in world-changing battles in other parts of the globe?

Frontline believers must be prepared and ready for opposition on the roads God lays out for them.  Just like Nehemiah, I won’t sugar coat it for you.  Warfare can be exhausting and make us want to retreat to some quiet corner where we think the enemy might leave us alone.  Don’t. God will lead you through this current battle and will make you stronger for the next one.  He will give you everything you need to endure, including times of rest and refreshment.  Read the rest of Nehemiah to see the fruit of the worker’s courage and labor, God’s presence in a way they had not experienced for generations.

We too can experience the joy of living in our promised lands if we will not cave under opposition!   

 

 

 

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