Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
How are you equipped for this new year? You could equip yourself for today only. You could only be equipped for tomorrow, or next week or next month or even just for this year. But my intention here is for you to be equipped for life. However, since we just hopped from one year to a new one, let me focus on this new year.
First of all how were you spiritually last year? Were you alive in the Lord or asleep? If you were asleep, then I don’t know if you still are, but if you are, then “Wake up!” Forgive me for having to shout “Wake up!” It is something that every soldier, one time or another, was subjected to; even as I type, some are still being yelled at to “Wake up!” The life of a soldier is unique.
Soldier? What does soldier have to do with being equipped? A lot. We are soldiers of the cross and as Christians we have been told to fight the good fight and fight it like a soldier. For example, 2 Timothy 2:3-4 says we should endure hardness like a soldier and further, that our purpose is to please our commanding officer. Here is how the Authorized King James puts 2 Timothy 2:3, 4:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Please our commanding officer? Yes, we are to obey, be obedient. In fact, that is the best way to be equipped for today, tomorrow, next week, next month, this year…for life! We can’t do whatever we like; we cant be lazy.
As Christians, we have not been called to be lukewarm. That is not how we came to Christ. Look at following passage: 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness, Ephesians 4:20-24.
Want to be equipped for this moment, this year and beyond? A verse in the preceding paragraph says “and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” One of, in fact the best way to do that is to have the mind of Christ. Thus to be humble 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Want to be equipped for this moment, this year and beyond? Then as Christ’s soldier, do not go AWOL (absent without leave) as some in the church do. 1 John 2:19 says “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us”
Want to be equipped for this moment, this year and beyond? Then Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you, Ephesians 4:31. The year is new so have hope.
Remember, there are spies lurking around the church and in the church, around your home and sometimes in your own home and they try as much as they can to trip you. Particularly in the church, these spies parade around as angels of light but in reality are ravening wolves. A lukewarm soldier could be easily a spy. They pretend to be soldiers, they have infiltrated the ranks of the church and they are wreaking havoc in so many ways: some of them are teachers and preachers; some are pastors, deacons, and so on. Beware. They will fire at you but in your ignorance you will think it is friendly fire. Didn’t Peter try to persuade Jesus from going to the cross, even rebuking Jesus? But Peter learnt a lesson from that incident and was re-instated much later.
Want to be equipped for this moment, this year and beyond? Then pray, fast and read the Word. Be a prayer warrior and always wrestle in prayer. In Colossians 4:12, Paul wrote this about Epaphras: Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. O, how I want that to be said of me too! And in Joel 2:12, look at what God says to you and me about fasting: Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
What about the reading of, and meditating on the Word? Joshua already established for us what we need to do; says Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Amazing!
Want to be equipped for this moment, this year and beyond? Then let me end with this; just Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall (Psalm 55:22 NLT). Hallelujah!
Proposed prayer: Heavenly Father, You have commanded me to Be strong and of a good courage; You have told me not to be afraid, neither be dismayed because You, my Lord and my God is with me whithersoever I go. Holy Spirit, please help me to study Your Word to show myself approved unto God, a workman who is never afraid in obeying You, serving You and loving You. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayers, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.