2009 – Day 149.May 30 – Cut Down To Size
Passage of the Day: 1st Kings 17: 2 - 6 … 2 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 3 “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. 4 And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. 7 And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
My Journal for Today: Chuck Swindoll, from his experience in Marine boot camp in his years past, has an interesting take on this short passage in 1st Kings about Elijah after his confrontation with Ahab. Elijah is taken away into the wilderness; and his willingness to surrender to His Lord is tested. Swindoll likens this to his own former time in boot camp where the Marines did exactly what was needed to insure that the younger Swindoll would be cut down to size and reshaped into the soldier he needed to be to face his future in military service.
As Swindoll relates, the Marines used “… the isolation of the location, the absence of all creature comforts, the relentless, monotonous drills and demanding repetition of inspections, [and] … the constant harassment of the drill instructor;“ … all designed to reshape the naïve and untrained recruits into soldiers who could meet any type of warfare, knowing that they could follow their commanders into battle. And according to Swindoll, that’s essentially what we’re reading in today’s passage where God used solitude and surrender to focus His man, Elijah, and to prepare him for the battles he would face ahead.
What has God put you through in life to prepare you for the battles we must face in spiritual warfare? Do you have a “battle plan” which has been forged out of the boot camp of life? Are you focused in faith and ready to follow your Commander in Chief, the Lord Jesus, just as He has commanded of His disciples (see Luke 9: 23 - a verse you should have burned into your life from the boot camp of scripture memorization). You know, that verse says we, as Christ’s soldiers, must deny ourselves, take up the crosses of life daily, and follow our Lord anywhere He leads. Have you been reshaped into the surrendered soldier in God’s army who is willing – AND ABLE – to do just that?
If not, my friend, you need a drill instructor (i.e., a mentor) who can take you through a boot camp of Spirit-led preparation, reshaping you into a hardened and ready warrior. I lead a ministry called BattlePlan Ministries [link provided to website]; and that’s part of the training we try to impart to men who have been in bondage to habitual and selfish sinful living. We try to get them to become self-disciplined warriors who are surrendered to God and willing to follow the lead of their Commander, Christ, anywhere He would lead them.
And when the bootcamp of life has reshaped them, they are self-surrendered soldiers who have been armed for battle with God’s full armor (see Eph. 6: 13-18 - linked). They know how to carry a well sharpened and practiced Sword of the Spirit; and they know how to take the high ground of prayer in the daily battles they will face.
Are you ready for battle today? Do you have a well formulated and written battle plan? Are you wearing God’s full armor? Do you carry a sharpened and practiced Sword of the Spirit? And are you disciplined to go to the high ground of prayer every day, preparing for the battle’s you will face TODAY?
If you are not, you are naked and vulnerable to your spiritual enemies. I pray that God is preparing you and reshaping you, as He did Elijah, for the battles you are going to face.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, You have prepared me for battle; and I choose to follow only You. Amen