Saturday, January 30, 2016

Spiritual activewear

Runner - by Phillip Martin
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 1:11-19

TO CHEW ON: " ' Therefore, prepare yourself and arise …'" Jeremiah 1:17

Yesterday we read how God came to young Jeremiah, called him to be a prophet, answered his objections, and promised His presence. In today's reading God comes to Jeremiah again and begins to show him visions—symbolic scenes of Israel's demise such that when Jeremiah speaks of them, he won't be popular. In light of how his hearers will take him, God tells Jeremiah, " 'Therefore prepare yourself and arise…' "

"'Prepare yourself' means literally to 'gird your loins,' that is, arrange your clothing for activity" - R. E. Hayden, study notes on Jeremiah, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 960.

As we read on, we see God uses war words to describe the prepared Jeremiah: "' I have made you … a fortified city … iron pillar … bronze walls" - Jeremiah 1:18.  Jeremiah is to prepare for battle.

We read of a similar action ("girding the loins") on the night the Israelites were to eat the Passover before leaving Egypt: "This is how you are to eat it; with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand" - Exodus 12:11. The Israelites were to get ready for flight.

We see Elijah do the same thing after the Priest of Baal showdown on Mount Carmel and the coming of the rain: "The power of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel" - 1 Kings 18:46.  It appears he was preparing to celebrate victory.

All this getting prepared for spiritual action reminds us of the classic NT spiritual preparation metaphor, the Armour of God, that Paul tells Christians to put on:  Because our enemy is spiritual, dark, and wicked…"Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand" - Ephesians 6:13. We need spiritual armor to stand against spiritual attack (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Finally, we read of the life-race readiness pictured in Hebrews 12:1 "… let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." We need to be prepared to run our everyday race of faith.

I think we could say that whatever spiritual activity confronts us—whether it's battle, flight from the devil's clutches, a victory celebration, standing firm, or running the daily race of faith, we need to be sure we're wearing our spiritual activewear—have on  those bullet proof vests, are wearing our spiritual spandex, have the laces of our cross trainers tied tight i.e. live alert and always be dressed and prepared for spiritual action.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for this warning to Jeremiah to be prepared. Help me to be live prepared for whatever You allow to cross my path today. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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