Hurry Up and Rest… to Prepare for War

Hey friends! I hope you guys have had a sweet couple of days of rest. I’ll tell you, what. These days have been difficult and the enemy has been working. At the times I know I need to put everything down and focus on Jesus, something has come up. A conversation is sparked. A TV show gets good. A notification pops up on my phone. I just don’t want to.

That’s what today is all about.

War.

In my time today, I was deeply drawn to this passage in Ephesians:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

(Ephesians 6:10-13)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In Rebekah Lyons’s recent study on rest, she makes a point I loved: you cannot run without rest.

I believe the same applies to going through warfare. Think about it. When we are physically exhausted, our reflexes are slower, our moods are unreliable, and our focus is unstable. How are possibly suppose to use our sword if we can’t stand up straight?

And so it is with spiritual exhaustion and spiritual warfare. We will be slower to refute temptation. We will be unable to see the enemy in the right light. We will be quicker to anger and slower to kindness. We will be unfocused on the Kingdom road.

Wedding planning season brought this truth out for me.

I was preparing for my senior year of college. I researching for my final year of forensics. I was working full time. I was dealing with harsh family drama, and in every moment of free time I was picking out floral arrangements and writing vows. It seemed as if it were the busiest of seasons—like there had never been or would there be craziness to this extent.

It was one month before the wedding when everything came crashing in. I’d had it to my head with my job, I was feeling like nothing was getting done, I was in the process of moving, and relationships around me were crumbling. One day when I thought I was going to lose it at work, I heard a whisper that brought me to my knees. Of all the things I could have neglected (and there were a lot) I had chosen time with God.

It was a sharp conviction. One that I had no other choice but to follow.

So in every spare moment, I read, I prayed, and I listened.

I would love to tell you that this is the exact moment where my life got easier. That everything was rosy and sweet leading up to the days of my marriage. I would love for that to have been the story.

Two weeks before the start of my marriage, I was made aware of a relational conflict that shook my and my husband’s world. Though the outer battle was minimal, it did a number to me spiritually. I questioned those I once trusted. We were hurt by people who were suppose to be our protectors. While we wanted to be preparing for our lives together, we were left preparing for unexpected conflict that lured us from around the corner.

Like I said, the battle was mostly within. I wanted to shout what had happened from the rooftops. I wanted to ruin reputations and to lash out in anger.

But praise be to God that He had just placed me in a season of rest. By only His power, my sinful nature was suppressed. Because he had given me rest, I saw the blow coming. I could see the Kingdom road more clearly than the road of destruction. Though my flesh wanted nothing more that to sin, the Spirit within was stronger. It wasn’t exhausted. It wasn’t sick. It was healthy.

When we are beckoned toward rest, Beloved, it is often to prepare us to fight. To fight our flesh. To fight worldliness. To fight the enemy. To fight all things that are apart from Him.

Prepare for battle, oh Christian.

Use this tool He has given us.

Let your mind and heart be cleansed and renewed that they might sharp in the face of war.

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How has rest prepared you for war in the past?

 

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