Have you ever taken a self-defense class? My daughter, Laura, and I took a class this past weekend at the Cobb County Police Department Training Center with our friends Kelli and Sarah. We had two amazing instructors, Lieutenant Blackmer and Lieutenant Worthington, who spent four hours teaching us all sorts of maneuvers. It was one of the best workouts I’ve ever had in my life. It rivaled P90X and Insanity in intensity.
As we were wrapping things up, Lieutenant Blackmer told us we would have to practice the moves we learned numerous times in order to recall them when we need them. She said there was no point in taking the time to learn defense tactics if we didn’t put them into practice. Through practice, we’ll develop our skills so they become second nature to us. Then when we are faced with an attack we’ll be ready.
The same is true in our spiritual journey. The Lord has given us skills and tools for battle [Ephesians 6:10-18]. He demonstrated how to deal with a direct confrontation in Matthew 4:1-11. James 4:7 drives the point home: “resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We resist him by calling on the name of the Lord and declaring the truth of His Word. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” The way out is His Word; however, you cannot use what you don’t have. You must sharpen your Sword so it is ready for battle when the enemy comes knocking, and he will come knocking [1 Peter 5:8].
Joshua 1:8 tells us “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” By pulling out the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, we can defeat our enemy quickly. Few of us carry a Bible around with us at all times; and even those of us who do, don’t always have the luxury of pulling it out and looking for the appropriate Scripture when we’re in battle. It needs to be written on our hearts so we can recall it at a moment’s notice [2 Corinthians 3:3]. Daily time in the Word of God and in His presence is how we sharpen our Swords, so we’re ready when the enemy comes after us.
So my question for you today is, are you ready for a fight? Have you sharpened your tools and practiced using them daily so the enemy won’t win? If not, there’s no time like the present to begin your training. It’s a matter of life or death, so grab your workout gear and get to it. He’s counting on you. James 1:12 reminds us, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” We’ve always got to be ready for a fight!