By: Sheila Hupp
Preparing for Battle
Each morning, I ask my three young daughters to brush their teeth, brush their hair, and make up their beds. These all sound simple; however, my daughters fight me on this every day.
With the chorus of moaning and groaning you would think that I have demanded that they power wash the driveway and clean the gutters. Honestly, I am not a party-pooper, but I do have a deeper reason for creating these habits. My goal is to teach them to get into the daily routine of taking care of their bodies and possessions.
As I was knee-deep into this morning routine adventure, I realized that I was missing a huge opportunity to encourage them to get their hearts ready before Christ each morning. Brushing teeth is incredibly important and a tidy bed certainly sets a wonderful tone for the day; however, what good is all of this if my daughters fail to honor God in the way they think, act, and behave?
Through my years of learning more about God, His word, and His ways I have learned that during these quiet times, we are being prepared for what is in our future. In Joshua 8:1, God gives Joshua instructions to enter into war with the city of Ai. During this conversation, we see that after God gave his instructions, he told Joshua “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Joshua was a warrior; he knew that God was leading him into a scary situation and yet while Joshua was spending time with the Lord, God was there with him reminding him to be courageous.
Joshua did not know how things were going to come to pass, but he was being led by the one who knows every ending. Our God knows our battles before they begin, He has already visited the victory party, and made the bed for our rest. But how can we receive God’s wisdom and guidance we need for victory if we do not set aside time to meet with Him?
Over the years, my quiet times have become more consistent and fruitful. During my quiet time each morning I beg God to lead me in my roles of wife and mom and I ask that He help me lead our little family in a way that honors Him.
But that is where I stopped. I had not brought my daughters into this quiet time. I had not taken the time to open the door, bring them in, and introduce them to the benefit of this quiet and still time until a battle erupted.
Entering into Battle
The nudge to teach my girls this practice and encourage them to pursue their own appointments with the Lord came after our world was rocked in January. My 40-year-old husband was diagnosed with cancer and our prayers went from shallow to bold in an instant.
With each family prayer, we beg God for healing and seek the Lord’s guidance on treatment. We thank God for good reports and energy-filled days after long chemo treatments.
Our daughters are learning from this time to cling to God, His word, and His promises. It is evident to them that trials are promised, not possibilities. They are learning to use God’s word to fight worry and speak God’s promises over their daddy, our family, and our future.
On the other side of my family’s current battle, I pray that they have grown closer to the Lord and have personally experienced His grace, mercy, and goodness. I also pray they find peace in meeting with the Lord and laying their precious hearts down at the foot of the cross.
Friends, this is the war Paul warned us about (Ephesians 6:12). This is an attack in the physical and spiritual realm that must be fought with medical care and the living truth of God’s word. Paul instructs us to prepare for these attacks by wearing the full armor of God so we can stand against the devil’s schemes when they come, not if they come.
He tells us to suit up with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and fit our feet with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
Quiet Time Battle Plan
We are all soldiers. We are either about to enter war, in the foxhole right now, or claiming the victory and entering rest. That is the cycle we experience on earth and will continue to do so until we take up residence in Heaven.
It is in moments of focused connection with God that we learn to put an end to our own striving, fixing, and doing and learn to be led by the one who has gone before us to claim the victory. It is in the stillness where we can hear Him whisper “do not be afraid; do not be discouraged”. As Christians we can rest in knowing that He overcomes the world and the final victory is His.
Take heart, darling friends, and know that the God who held the lions’ mouth shut for Daniel, the God who parted the sea for the Israelites, and the God who rose Jesus from the grave is leading you through your battle. Now you have your marching orders: suit up each day, dig into God’s word, and listen.
Sheila Hupp is a Christian writer and speaker based in Indiana with a passion for encouraging women to view life through a lens of faith. Sheila guides women of all ages to embrace their past and live their future for God’s glory by allowing Him to make miracles out of messes.
During her presentations, women are empowered to step into the role God created for them and given the biblical resources to support and encourage each woman in her faith.
Sheila is the proud wife to Matt and mama to three girls: Gracie, Mattie, and Emmylou. She and her husband homeschool their children and enjoy spending time together outside with their dog Annie.