Devotion: Preparing for Battle

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.”

~Pro 21:31

This verse is great because it challenges us to confess the difference between preparation and outcomes. We are called to prepare each day for battle, but ultimately the outcomes reside with the LORD.

As I prepare for my first ultra marathon race this weekend, the Lord drew me to this verse. It has helped me be excited and at peace. I have prepared for the day of battle by reviewing my training log, banking the memories of all those miles and mountains climbed. I am scouring the elevation map of the race to strategize when I should walk, and when I should run. Plus, I am loading my drop bag with the gear I will need to persevere. I am readying my horse for battle.

But then I have to realize the bigger picture: my victory rests upon the LORD.

Life’s outcomes are beyond my control.

The defeatist will ask why he should even try, while the perfectionist will think everything hinges on his capabilities.

So, what battle are you heading into today?

Each day we face a battle. Maybe it is a strained marriage, or hormonal teenagers. Maybe it is a stressful job, a debt load that is crushing, a tempting second glance at the brunette. Or maybe it’s the battle for sobriety. Or joy. Or peace.

We must prepare our horses for these battles. We must train and arm ourselves. We must strategize and saddle up. But we must also be prepared for the attack of the enemy, because in a battle the enemy gets a say.

At the same time, we must realize that the outcome is the LORD’s, not ours. Victory rests not on our strategies, strength, resumes, charm or abilities. We can claim that “Victory is mine,” because Jesus has made me His.

However, though the outcomes are the LORD’s, we are not freed from our responsibility. Tim Chester writes, “That does not mean you can abdicate responsibility and do nothing. It means you take responsibility for what is your responsibility–but you leave the rest to God. Our problem is often that we take responsibility for what is not our responsibility. I’m responsible for being a good parent, but I’m NOT responsible for the choices of my children–I must leave that to God…I’m responsible for being a good employee, but I’m not responsible for the actions of my boss…I’m responsible for telling others the gospel, but I’m not responsible for their salvation. Ultimately, while I’m responsible for my sin, I am not responsible for achieving my forgiveness…” That victory is the LORD’s!

Therefore…today…how can you prepare your horse for today’s battle? What resources, what armor, what strategies and plans do you need?

But more importantly, how can you trust that the outcomes are in the LORD’s hands?

“Regulators, Mount Up!”

 

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