Can I just be honest? This is going to be a real post. (We are friends so I can be real, right?) I have been weary, so weary. It has not been weariness over momentous issues like sickness or relational issues. Life just has me weary. Weariness comes no matter where you live. It does not discriminate based on gender, life situation, or age. Sometimes it comes and tries to camp long term in the parking lot of your heart. It is in the small things and in the big things, in things you did not know could make you weary.
As a child in Sunday School, I was taught about the “armor of God.” The shield, the breastplate, the belt, the sword, preparation for your feet, and the helmet. I can still see my friends bouncing around the room with our invisible weapons to fight. What were we fighting? I am not sure we understood at that age, but I can surely say that I understand now. Maybe you are reading this and to you it is a bunch of crock, some cockamamie idea. Let me tell you that the battle for me is REAL! The Bible says that it is not just a battle that I fight, but it goes on whether we want to acknowledge it or not.
The first part of this year has been a trying time in ministry for sure. Things have not always gone as planned, and we definitely were unprepared for the battle we met when we returned to Kenya. Honestly, there were things we could have never anticipated that were just waiting for our return. In this fight, the enemy comes at me, comes at our family, our community with everything he has to give. This battle can be hard to fathom. It is unseen. Words like evil, flesh and blood, the devil’s schemes, and the arrows of the evil one are found in Scripture when describing the need for battle and the Armor of God. It can be hard to get from one day to the next in the midst of the battle, but there is hope! Praise God, there is Hope. Hope for my weary heart. God continues to pour out his faithfulness.
The Israelites of the Old Testament bore witness to this hope and this faithfulness. In Exodus 14: 14 it says “The LORD will fight for you; you must be quiet.” He fought for the Israelites. He freed them from the hands of Pharaoh. In the moment that Pharaoh changed his mind and pursued the Israelites, the people were terrified. The Lord gives this promise to the people of God; he will fight for them they need only be quiet. This promise goes against any type of warfare tactic I have ever witnessed. I think of movies like Braveheart, the Patriot, and Saving Private Ryan. These movies are loud, explosive, graphic, and overwhelming. Our battle is different. It is in the quiet that we are able to stand. It is in the quiet that we press on towards the goal.
Not only does the Lord fight for us, but praise God, he EQUIPS us to fight! The weapons we fight with are bigger, greater, and the ultimate in warfare against the schemes of the devil. We fight with truth, righteousness, readiness from the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the Holy Spirit, and prayer. These are no ordinary things. These are the essence of who we are as believers. This overcomes the darkness, the sadness, the day where we just cannot go on anymore, and even my weariness. Fight with me this week. Combat the things that are not of the Lord. We can overcome because he (Jesus Christ) has already overcome the world! The victory is ours in Christ Jesus. Fight in the quiet, sit at the feet of God. Pray and talk to God. It is okay if it has been a long time. He is still waiting, longing to converse with you. Praise God. Take heart. Be encouraged. Be ready with the gospel of peace. You have got this!
“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.
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”