When the Battle Comes

Too many times in my life I've been caught off guard when the battle comes. I'm sure many of us have experienced moments when temptation comes and our defenses are down, or a difficult circumstance brings a sudden wave of fear and anxiety. Too many times I miss the opportunities the Lord gives me to pray, to fill my mind with the Word, and to spend time worshiping him. We need this practice so that when the hour of temptation comes, we'll be able to resist. If we intend to live a spiritual life, then we can't miss these times of spiritual preparation.

I watched a message by Francis Chan where he talked about how much he loved to surf and just do nothing some days. Its good to relax, but those few days, he said, turned into weeks and he knew he was not maintaining his closeness with the Lord. I can relate. Many times I've had to force myself to wake up and get back on track. God graciously helps us see these moments and give us a chance to be prepared for the battle ahead.

Willard indicates that Jesus request of the disciples to watch and pray with him in the garden was for their benefit. He goes on to say "but had they watched and prayed, as they were advised, the requisite ability would have been there when it was needed. They would have been in a condition of body and mind to secure the Father's assistance to stand as firmly as Jesus himself did." Think about how Peter's first response when the guards came was to draw his sword. He reverted back to his natural response. Then later he denied Christ which I believe was not in his heart to do. He loved the Lord and would die for him, but in his weakness, having missed his time that night to receive strength from the Father, he faltered. Willard continues saying "the mark of disciplined persons is that they are able to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done." I wish I could say I possessed that kind of discipline, but I know I need more practice.

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