I have a 7-year-old son who is … well, a boy. That’s the best way to put it, really. He likes mud and bugs and Transformers and wrestling with his Dad on the floor and making his own sound effects when he pulls a cool move … and believe me, he’s got a lot of moves.
He also loves knights and castles and dragons and swords, running through the house rigged out in his plastic armor and helmet, flourishing a wooden sword above his head, chasing invisible enemies.
Nearly everything he gets his hands on becomes a weapon. Almost every move he makes is a new “battle” maneuver.
Last week my husband and son and I were riding in the car on our way to church. I looked into the backseat and saw that my son had brought his sword with him. He was sitting calmly with it laid across his lap, his hand on the hilt.
Without skipping a beat, he answered somberly, looking right at me, “I’m always ready.”
And that was that.
Except that it wasn’t.
Because I … being who I am … started thinking about that.
Prepare For Battle
To be ready for battle at all times … that struck a familiar chord somewhere in me. To be primed to fight at a moment’s notice. Not to fight without reason, of course. But, like my son, to fight that invisible enemy, the one who lurks in the shadows, just out of sight. The one who would poison and destroy every good and godly thing in us and in our lives.
Every day is a battle, really, isn’t it? Every day we have to pick up our swords and prepare to defend our hearts. Battle for our very souls. Every waking hour of our existence, from birth to death, we have to live with a sword in our hand, ready to raise it against anything that would threaten to separate us from our Leader.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-11)
What a powerful message that was to me, seeing my son’s bright innocent eyes looking at me. “I’m always ready.”
His little heart will know soon enough the dark enemy he faces. The adversary who wants his heart. And no wooden sword will stand against that enemy. What a heart-rending thing to think about. For a mother, a nearly heartbreaking thought …
… but for one thing.
“Do not fear or be dismayed … for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15)
Yes. The battle is not ours. Thank heaven. Thank God.
If we’re in His ranks, it’s won already. All we need do is don our flimsy armor and brandish our homemade swords and stay on that battlefield till the bitter end. Show God our hearts are where they need to be, even though our strength is not our own, but borrowed from Him.
If God is with us, who can be against us? And God will be with us. Because the battle belong to Him.
One day my son will put away his wooden sword. He’ll tuck it into his toy box for the last time, too old for childish games. I hope that when he leaves the battle of his imagination, he will understand the true battle he prepares to engage in. I pray that when he steps onto the field and joins the fray, he will be wearing God’s armor. That no matter what dangers surround him, his eyes will always be upon his Leader… the One who has vanquished the enemy already.