Greetings fellow sojourning DIVAs! I sure miss you! My family and I recently toured Fort Moultrie, a fortification on Sullivan’s Island built to protect Charleston, South Carolina during the Revolutionary War. I have always wanted to visit this southeastern part of the country and I had no idea I would love it so much! I grew up being fond of this period of history partly because I have an ancestor that signed the Declaration of Independence. As you have probably heard me mention before, I am apt to find a spiritual application for many of life’s experiences so as my family and I viewed a couple of men re-enacting how the army’s soldiers trained inside Fort Moultrie I found myself slack-jawed. They demonstrated and explained how the soldiers were required to train for hours each day because they never knew when the enemy would attack and their proper training would mean the difference between success and failure. As the soldiers trained, they were required to wear their full wool uniform which included pants, jacket, and hat (even in summer). This was so outrageous for me to even consider in my mind because the day we were there the temperature was 97 degrees and extremely humid! I had a difficult time not losing my patience while standing there in comfortable shorts! Whew! The ranger and his volunteer went on to tell us the very specific order the soldiers had to follow as they grabbed ammunition, loaded and packed their weapons, and aimed and fired all without error 3 times every minute ~ that is every 20 seconds! This perfection had to occur amidst 1) the smoke of their weapon fire, 2) the noise and smoke from every other soldier’s weapon firing, 3) even as the enemy approached on all sides (they still had to stand courageously), 4) comrades falling, 5) cumbersome uniforms and 6) the unrelenting heat.
Have you discerned the spiritual application yet? The Bible, which is our guide book in this life, tells us the enemy roams around like a lion waiting for someone to devour. So what are we doing to prepare ourselves for these encounters?
“Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith.” 1 Peter 5:8-9a
Imagine this truth flashing before your eyes written on a sign with a bright warning light. Our FOCUS most certainly is Jesus and not the enemy. However, part of our time should be spent being ‘serious’ and ‘alert’, readying ourselves for the enemy’s approach and subsequent taunts so that we are not caught off our guard. Therefore, we must put on our battle gear (Ephesians 6:11) just as these Revolutionary soldiers did and prepare ourselves for whenever the enemy may strike. We should continually wash minds with the truth of the word so that we are not only prepared to defend ourselves with the ‘sword of truth’ at a moments notice but anyone else who might benefit from our help. Like the soldiers, the way we prepare is by practicing. We memorize scripture and we do it over and over again just like the soldiers practiced in order to be sharp. They did not do it once a day and say ‘good enough, now I am hot and tired and done.’ They did it continually for hours each day even though their current conditions were less than ideal. They practiced until they achieved what is called muscle memory ~ it was automatic. I theorize that the common notion of not ‘being able’ to memorize something is a lie orchestrated by the enemy himself and we have lazily chosen to believe it. He does not intend for us to pick up our sword (memorize scripture) and battle him. He intends for us to be weak and helpless; accepting the status quo. Don’t stand for it. It does not matter if you do not have every single word of a verse you are memorizing perfect. But you should know enough of the words to have an understanding of the meaning so that you can speak it out in your or someone else’s defense. Practice this until you can use it and do not have to think about it. Do it like the soldiers did. Do it in the heat (during trials and when it is not comfortable or easy), do it as a part of your daily routine, do it amidst all the noise (in your own head and outside your head), do it when others around you are falling and it brings questions to your mind, do it when you know the enemy is approaching and tries to distract you, do it when ‘smoke screens’ are set up to persistently distract you, do it when life has it cumbersome seasons, and while you’re at it understand that your will must conform completely to what you are memorizing. I believe we have become sloppy in our Christian life and in some respects, really desire to live a ‘spoon-fed’ existence. This is a deception and an utter distraction. You and I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and by memorizing, internalizing, and applying scripture the closer we will draw to this truth.
Show the enemy you have no intention of sitting down while he looks for opportunities to launch his fiery darts. Know God’s word and speak it out; this puts you on the offense as opposed to the constant defense. Show the enemy you have a tenacious resolve and are no timid Christian when it comes to defending the rights you have as a child of God!! Let’s be fully aware that this takes persistence, a mind fully engaged, and eyes focused on Jesus. The heat of trials is no match for you!! Before the trial comes, already have this settled! When things look dark and fear tempts you to buckle, you will stand firm. When the enemy puts up a smoke screen and taunts you to think you have nowhere to turn, you call out to the Father and expectantly wait for His direction.
This is what a warrior in God’s army does. And this is what you must do. You are much loved.
In His amazing grace,
P.S. Sure missing Deanna this week but she found the song for us!