So where do you fight your battles? Lately, I feel I’ve been bumbling from one battle to another, accidently turning from certain defeat into another front, all the while miraculously keeping my head like some mixed-up combination of Maxwell Smart and Mr. Magoo. Some I have not fought privately first. The others, I cannot seem to remember the lessons the private battle taught, nor the techniques for victory it revealed.
What these battles have reminded me is the importance of preparation. The first to Biblical examples of battle preparation that came to mind were David rejecting Saul’s armor, then selecting the stones prior to battle with Goliath and the second, God trimming the number of Gideon’s troops before his battle. Both examples ignore human reasoning, but instead both David and Gideon are left to rely on the only one that could win the fight.
In The Green Letters, Miles Stanford suggests that once you try to fight a battle you’ve lost. Though we may not see the immediate victory in our battles (and I dare suggest that what we would consider a victory, may not be what God has decided would be a victory), they are complete and we are victorious. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 ESV)
Not that we shouldn’t prepare. Paul even uses the imagery of battle preparation in the sixth chapter of his letter to the Ephesians when reminding them (and us) to “be strong in the Lord.” But more on preparation later.