In this season, my question to God has become - "Lord, where are you sending me that I have to be battle ready?" I understand now what I didn't before. The place that I am going will have more struggles than I've ever faced before. This place that I'm in currently is the preparation place for where I'm going.
As I sat at my desk the other, I realized what I'm surrounded by. Don't get me wrong, its not the people that I'm surrounded by, its the spirits. I had to stop for a moment and realize that this place isn't meant to break me. These people aren't meant to hurt me. They are tools used to Fortify my walls. To make me more of a strong tower. Provers 18:10 - The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. If my character, my spirit, my body is to be more Christlike each and every day, then I must be a strong tower. Unwavering. Unmovable. Unstoppable. Steady. Strong. Willing. Able. I must be ready to be a safe haven for those lost in the wilderness, those broken and battered, those looking for something even if they don't know what yet. Strong Tower.
But, you can't be these things. You can't do the work of God unless you've been tested, tried, and proved. My former pastor, Glen E. Jenkins, has preached many sermons. During certain times of my life, I can hear things he has said. He once said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that God uses trials to make you, not break you. That the fire is turned up to refine you. He said this while preaching about the 3 Hebrew boys. I hope you know the story. If not, here's some homework for you: Read Daniel 3 (breakdown, the book of Daniel, chapter 3).
The 3 Hebrew boys were battle ready. They were ready to go into the fiery furnace for their beliefs - their believe in who God is not just to them, but who God should be to all. Their unwavering faith still stands as a symbol of being battle ready. That doesn't mean that I have to yell at, shout at or scream at those that oppress me. No, on the contrary!!! I must be ready to walk into the battle with my head high proclaiming the Gospel of Christ, knowing that for this battle, God gets the glory. In the story of the 3 Hebrew boys, did God get the glory of them being in the fire?? Think about it, what happened with the king? That's God's glory manifested on earth as it is in heaven. Now think about your latest battle...is God getting the glory? What is being manifested? "...Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10)