Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:11 NIV)
Boy, Oh Boy! When I first started writing this series, I’ll tell you what! I was excited! I even squealed with anticipation and joy at its name and of God’s revelation to me. After 2019, I was like, “YAAAAASSSSSSS!!! See Giants Fall…FINALLY!” This just goes to show how married I am to the idea of comfort and how loving God is to be patient with the development of my character!
Let’s just say, God’s idea of progress and mine might have a different interpretation of what it “should” or “could” look like. Here I am ready for a quick one-two blow for a TKO! Little did I know that the main Giant that needed to be addressed wasn’t a person or a circumstance. Nope. Not at all. The process God has taken me through since January had more to do with me. My fighting had more to do with ME and THE WAY I THINK than with anything else (yet again)!
The very first thing I had to learn to do was NOT rush into battle, but to take on the tactics of King David when he was a boy. I had to learn to tame myself. I had to learn how to arm myself properly so that I could fight the real battles in life and disregard the distractions that would take my time and energy away from that which really matters. I had to learn how to slow down so that I could speed up when the time to fight was right. While the next blog will weave all of the lessons on how to finally take down our Giants in life, I would be completely missing the target if I didn’t spend time with the warm-up. So here it goes. It is time to PREPARE.
You see, there is not one athlete, musician, or business great who doesn’t spend time planning and preparing to succeed. Yet, here I was wanting to just go bounding into an arena that had the potential to kill me altogether. Without the right weapons, I could harm myself, or others, along the way. I had flawed and toxic thinking that needed to be rewired before I could take on my Giants. Some may say that the internal Giants are greater than anything you could face in life, and they are the most important! In fact, I had to learn how to discern which battles come first. I can almost hear the wisdom of my mother saying, “Sara, you have to pick and choose your battles. Not everything is worth the fight, and sometimes fighting the wrong battles will drain the energy that you’ll need to fight the right battles at the right times. Even fighting the right battles at the wrong times can be catastrophic.” Can you say spiritual uppercut and parenting prowess in combination? Well, every fighter gets hit sometimes, and it was that combo that catapulted me into Warrior mode.
There is so much NOISE in our world, so much so that if we are not careful, we will spend our whole lives living in a constant state of confusion or frustration. The noise is LOUD and anything but helpful. You might hear the noise in various ways. For me it was always the “You can’t. You won’t. You’re not strong enough, smart enough, talented enough, or connected enough. Nope, you’re subpar and unlovable. Even if you make it in the beginning, you’re not strong enough to make it to the end. You might as well give up now and just be happy with the mess that you have. You’ll never be whole, healthy, and restored again. Life just doesn’t roll that way. This is as good as it gets. You’d better get used to it.” .
Luckily for me, God tells me a different narrative. First of all, when God chose David, all that He used to pick this future King was the condition of his heart. In fact, Scripture says this when Samuel was examining David’s much older, more accomplished, and put-together brother in 1 Samuel 16:7, :
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (NLT)
And this is where I started. I started with my heart and my mind. I started digging into any space that was hurt, angry, resentful, fearful, insecure, or jealous. Yeppers, I had them all (and still do at times)! And that was just a start. After relinquishing all of these lovely heart conditions, I got to add to the family with control, doubt of God’s abilities, and my current heart condition… the need for comfort and predictability. In any case, when I FEEL something that doesn’t seem to be in alignment with God’s Word and character, I go back to two Scriptures. First, Proverbs 4:23 NLT says to…
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Often I find that I am not ready for battle because I am allowing people and circumstances to plant a seed of darkness in my heart. Any champion knows that FOCUS is one of the most unshakeable skills that helps to bring a win. Yet, when my heart allows the lies to take root, the rest of my life starts to shake. That is when I go and figure out what I’m allowing in, and I head back to the next Scripture…
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV)
If it’s not my heart, then it is my mind. I realized one day that the daily battles for guarding my heart and training my brain to be captive to The Word are the most important battles that I fight. So, then I started being honest with God, holding nothing back.
Daily, I give Him the good, the bad, the confident, the fears, the doubt, the ugly, and the encouraging. I lay it all at God’s feet, and say, “So…now that you know, what do I do with this?” Then, I listen for directions that I can obey, and I follow with action (even when I don’t feel like it). I search for Scripture to combat my own, inconsistent, feelings with The Truth. Every single time, peaceful confidence resides in seeing from God’s Perspective:
- Who I Am— I am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made on Purpose and For His Purposes, and I am the Daughter of The King
- Whose I Am— I belong to God Almighty, Jehovah Jireh my Provider and my Redeemer. Jehovah Nissi is my fighter. Jehovah Shalom is my Peace. Jesus is my Victor and my Victory.
- What HE SAYS I can do—I can do ALL THINGS as MORE THAN a Conqueror who can stomp on snakes and scorpions. He who is In me is STRONGER THAN ANYTHING that comes against me, not by my might and my power, but HIS POWER.
Without this Guarding of my mind and heart, there is no battle that I can win. But with the covering of Jesus Christ, I am given all that I need to do all that He calls me to!
He. Calls. Me.
Which brings me to the true enemy, Satan.
I can’t say that I always believed in Satan, Lucifer, or a Prince of Lies. Instead I got stuck in a gap between myself and God. I couldn’t, or dare I say, wouldn’t, get to know and understand God, nor Satan, out of fear. If God was good, then why all of the hurt, pain, deception, and darkness in the world? If God was good, then how come everything around me keeps falling apart without a restoration completion date? In all honesty, I spend the majority of my life fighting the wrong enemy, and that’s exactly how Satan wants it. If I blame God, or spend all of my time and energy fighting people, circumstances, or myself, then there won’t be enough left to fight my main enemy. Without the right focus, I can’t make a difference.
Here I was, hiding in a shell of ignorance like a turtle about to be used like a hockey puck until I realized that what I needed was to prepare for each day as a battle against a darkness that I cannot see, nor fully understand. It is here that things began to change for me. I started warring in Prayer against the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10)… Scripture says that…
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12 NIV)
It took me a REALLY long time to wrap my head around that. I was like, “Seriously? I have to fight something that I can’t define or fully know?” Well, the truth is, “YES!” This is where the preparation becomes real! The faster I get to the true enemy, of any and all circumstances, by praying for people and circumstances, then the faster things would fall into place that would allow me to persevere long enough to pick up my stones. The faster that I trusted God’s Plan and Timing no matter what I was going through, then the faster I took a stand against the schemes of the enemy by finding my confidence and my peace to face my giants WITH JESUS. My stones that take down Giants were, and still are, my words. So, I learned to PREPARE in a whole new way! Essentially, I follow this acronym…
- Patiently Persevere while
- Rejoicing where I am, so I can
- Express my gratitude to God as I
- Produce obedient action and
- Armor Up against the enemy
- Relentlessly Remembering what God had done, and is doing, so that I can
- Expect Eagerly for God to show up in the future
If I want to go to battle, then it starts in my heart and my mind. I cannot be afraid of that which I do not know. Instead, I have to be smart enough to remember the importance of preparation. Even King David had to go back in the shepherd’s field and prepare for Goliath! Before Goliath went down, David prepared with a battle against a bear and a lion protecting what God had given him and his family. Like King David, we need to stand our ground before the main event even begins. Even now, I’m asking God to help me daily with Joy and Steadfast Faith. I’ve heard it said that success is the intersection between opportunity and preparation. So…
“Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NLT)
Take time this week to prepare to fight what is truly important and know that the real battle starts well before the circumstantial fight. We have one mind and one heart. It’s high time that we use them to our advantage! Remember your own God-given unique brilliance, and fight with all you’ve got, my Wonderful Warriors! There ain’t nothing that God cannot do when we trust Him! So, until the Giants Fall, battle with Boldness knowing that YOU are more than equipped and YOU are already made to win!
Have a Blessed and Victorious week!