When Joshua was an old man, the Lord said to him, "You are growing old, and much land remains to be conquered..."
Joshua 13:1 NLT
Life is hard. With so many things calling out for our attention, it's so easy to grow weary - so easy to just want to give up. There are many times that I would love to throw in the towel. But obviously, that is not God's will for any of His children. God never intended for us to walk around feeling defeated.
When Joshua was an old man the Lord told him that there was still much land to be conquered. In other words, God was telling Joshua to get busy because the battle was not over. God did not tell him to rest because he was growing old, but instead to stay pro-active in kingdom business. The same is true for us today. As for me, I thought when I got to my 40's I could just "coast" through life in hopes to get to the finish line without too much struggle. That's not biblical.
We are told in Ephesians 6 to put on our full armor of God and to be alert while remembering to pray for all:
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Recently I've been thinking of all the ways I've allowed Satan to take ground in my life. It's happened very subtly. I have become spiritually lazy in my prayer life, having time alone with God and reading my Bible. I've become numb to the fact that the clock is ticking and there is still much land to conquer. I have walked off the battlefield.
In Bible days a trumpet or a ram's horn, also known as a shofar, was used to signify many religious holidays but also was used for the start of a battle. Jewishroots.net said that the shofar was blown three times before battle...
The first trumpet was a signal to prepare to depart... The Bible believer should be ready to depart swiftly for any field of conflict as ordered, always ready to fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7).
The second trumpet was a signal to form up... At this stage, a believer should have on the whole armor of God. The Lord wants skilled warriors, lined up with others, who will do battle against the wiles of the Devil (Eph. 6:11).
The third trumpet sound was the order to march.
This trumpet may also point to the personal resolve of a believer to march out to serve Christ, to stand against all challenges to God's kingdom, and to be willing to endure hardships like a good soldier (2 Tim. 2:3).
I have heard the the trumpet call. I am ready to return to the battlefield.
One of the most beautiful traits I love about God is His unlimited patience with me. Whenever I feel attacked and want to run away from combat, He encourages me to get back to the battle and to not give up.
What about you? Have you taken off your armor in order to pursue things that are insignificant? Are your weapons rusty? It's time to polish your armor and get back to war. The battle is not over. Listen for the shofar and return to the battlefield!