Being married to a pilot comes with a lot of travel perks. We travel often and I spend a lot of time in airplanes. My favorite part of being in an airplane honestly is the uninterrupted time I get to do what I want to do! I pack an extra bag with books, notebooks and my computer and I use every flight we take to prepare. I like to be prepared!
On a recent trip home from the Middle East, I was blessed with 13 hours to prepare! Bible Study was coming up and I used every minute of that 13 hour plane ride to dive into what was being taught…all so I could be prepared. When we landed at Kennedy, an unexpected phone call came. Our home was being robbed and there was nothing we could do to stop it. At the very same hour that I was digging into the Word of God, doing the thing He had called me to do, preparing and enjoying every minute of it, at that very same time, an attack was being planned and implemented against me. While I was reading, praying and studying words of life, I had an enemy planning to steal and destroy. At the very same time that I was preparing to speak, at that very same time, the enemy was on his way to my home, plotting a path to strike me down.
God’s Word says we may be struck down…but we are not destroyed.
For a few years now, part of my morning prayer time has been putting on the armor of God. This recent attack of the enemy has revealed to me the why…
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand…
The day of evil had come, and while it was a painful, painful place, with the armor of God already in place, God caused me to STAND.
God calls us to be prepared, in position for victory before the battle. Because quite often it’s the times when we are exactly where He wants us to be, when we are serving Him, worshipping Him and seeing Him do amazing things among us that the enemy comes with a plan of attack.
With every challenge, God always provides something from His Word to guide and encourage us. This week, I was reading about my very favorite Old Testament king, King Hezekiah.
2 Chronicles 32:1 After Hezekiah had faithfully carried out this work, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah.
The Bible says ‘after Hezekiah had faithfully carried out this work…the enemy attacked.’ For years, the temple that God had built for His Glory had been a place of idolatry and sin. For years, the worship that should have gone to the One Who had set His people free went to false gods that required shameful, sinful practices. God called King Hezekiah to do a work. He was to put an end to these acts of disobedience and turn the country back to Him.
…but it’s often at the very time we are faithfully doing the work God has given us that the enemy chooses to attack.
King Hezekiah was faithful and that is exactly when the enemy chose to invade Judah. But the enemy was not just coming for Judah in general. If you read further in the chapter, you will see that the enemy was out for Jerusalem, the heart of Judah, the place where worship had been restored, the place where the temple had been repaired and God’s people were worshipping and sacrificing. The enemy didn’t just want the surrounding cities. He wanted Judah’s heart.
So that is where the enemy hit. In the place that would hurt Judah the most, the place that would steal from their worship and their temple again.
King Hezekiah was prepared for the battle. He was suited up. While the armor of God had not yet been explained on paper through Paul, restoring the temple and true worship shows that King Hezekiah was pursuing truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and prayer and The Word, every piece of the armor we are told to put on in Ephesians 6.
Immediately King Hezekiah did his part. In 2 Chronicles we see his actions.
Boldly, he made a decision to stop the water supply to the Assyrian army. The people of God would not give the enemy anything that would keep the enemy alive and thriving in their city. Anything that would keep the enemy close by would be destroyed.
Boldly, he made a decision to repair all of the broken places in the walls, and to construct a second wall around the first. There would be no weak link in his defense. The walls would be fortified.
And then he reminded the people of their God. Regardless of what he had been called to do in defending Judah from the enemy, King Hezekiah knew the real victory came from the LORD.
Then Hezekiah encouraged them by saying: 7 “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! 8 He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” Hezekiah’s words greatly encouraged the people.
‘Be strong and courageous’. If you look up the word strong in the original language, it means BOLD. The king told the people BE BOLD. The enemy may look big and strong, but our God is greater. We have the Lord our God, He will help us, and HE WILL FIGHT OUR BATTLES FOR US.
And the people were greatly encouraged.
Do you need to be greatly encouraged today in the face of a battle? Have you done exactly what the Lord has called you to do, do you live in a place of worship and obedience to Him, but still the enemy has come? King Hezekiah did not say, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ He did not dwell on the enemy coming at him. He put his focus on the GOD who fought for him.
The story goes on to show the unimaginable victory that Judah experienced because God fought the battle FOR THEM.
Stay suited up! Put your armor on and be BOLD! Stay in a place of worship, restore the broken places, and do not give the enemy a foothold. What the enemy intends for evil, our God always uses for good. Our BOLD God fights for us and the victory is certain because the Mighty One is on our side!
2 Chronicles 32:22 That is how the Lord rescued Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the others who threatened them. So there was peace throughout the land.