How to Win the Battles to Come

             None of us know exactly what’s down the road for us in 2013. However, if we’ve paid attention to life for any length of time, we are assured of several things in general. There will be good times with smiles and nice surprises, but there will also be challenging times with battles to fight. We look forward to the smiles, but cringe at the thought of the battles. Thankfully, God has a plan to help us prepare in advance for any upcoming onslaughts.

 Step One: Read

            “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble” Psalm 119:165 (NIV). For everything that can happen to us, all the answers are already available in God’s word. Get a jump on the news. Read the Bible. Its words are there to be sure we will be balanced and sure-footed when the battles ensue.

 Step Two: Listen

           We can read the Bible all day long, but if we don’t determine in our hearts to take heed to what God says, all that reading will be for naught. Only those who heed are promised tranquility. Psalm 85:8 says, “I will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints– but let them not return to folly” (NIV).

 Step Three: Focus

              Once the battles begin to march forward toward us, adrenaline starts pumping and we can be tempted to go into panic mode. However, Isaiah 26:3-4 suggests that we focus instead. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength” (NKJ).

 Step Four: Prepare

             “Finally,” says Ephesians 6:10-11, “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (NIV). Be ready for the battle by dressing for the fight ahead of time. No self-respecting enemy is going to alert us to the time of the attack, so we have to be ready at all times.

                The opening line of Oswald Chambers’ December 27th My Utmost for His Highest devotional entry says, “The battle is lost or won in the secret places of the will before God, never first in the external world.” May we read, listen, focus, and prepare so that we win battles at His feet before we ever fight them on our feet.

________________________

©2012 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!

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~ by sanewriter on December 27, 2012.

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