This coming Sunday is the end of daylight savings. The sun sets one hour earlier and we will begin our official season of rest. This time of the year has the potential of being a phase you look back on with warm nostalgia. It can also take the opposite route and be a time in your life you wished had never happened. My hope for you is that this will be a time of both. Why? Because without adversity, there is no growth. We need challenges in our lives to draw us closer to God and become more like Him. We also need fun! What is life without joy?!
So, we have shorter days coming and the question is: Are you ready?
You may not know. I’m not sure, myself. The certainty is that we will have good and bad times during this season. In Galatians 6:14-20, Paul gives encouragement to his readers on how to face tough times.
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Adversity comes from our adversary: Satan. He knows we have weaknesses coming with shorter days and will be on the prowl to attack. According to Galatians 6, there are three things we can do this week to prepare for his attacks:
- Stand (v. 14-15) It can be tempting to cave when life closes in on you, but that is not the way to go when you have the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit slows down the scenarios around you and grants you awareness. You can see what’s going on and stand. Stand firm! Depression, anxiety, anger, loneliness… whatever negative emotion plagues you, will come. You can anticipate their arrival and stand against them.
- Take Up (v. 16-17) Whether you realize it or not, you are walking armor. Your faith is powerful. Nothing Satan throws at you can overcome or defeat the sound faith that is wrapped around you, the salvation that protects you, or the word of God. All these things God has given you to equip you for any attempt Satan makes to bring you down.
- Keep Alert (v. 18-20) You have awareness through the Holy Spirit, but it’s important to be alert. Someone could be showing you signs all day long but you have to look for them to see them. Look for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Look for opportunities to pray for yourself and others around you. Prayer is our most powerful and instant connection with God and yet it is often so poorly utilized.
One of Satan’s main goals is to cripple us from doing the service of God. The best thing we can do this season is prepare ourselves spiritually and interact with God daily.
Paul needed protection, truth, and prayer to carry out the job God had given him to do. We need the same. Satan wants you at a safe distance from God, if you must be close at all, and he knows where to get you. That’s why we must know God. We need to read His word and talk to Him. We need to place ourselves under Him. It is through His truth and His strength that we can stand against the devil and his schemes. Once we are standing in the truth of God, we combat evil with prayer. We take it to God who can actually do something about it. What better way to spend this Season of Rest than in constant communication with God who loves you?
Get in tune with the Holy Spirit and enjoy the rest of your week!