2 Timothy 4:2-4 says, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season…”
The devil is known for pop quizzes. Though this is written to a young pastor, the principle of being ready is for us all. No Christian ought to be surprised when a test or a trial comes their way, because the Word promised it would happen. (James 1:2, 1 Peter 1:6) We have a real enemy who wants to get us off course. We have a real enemy who wants to get us doubting the one true God. The question isn’t whether or not the test will come, but rather, what are you going to do when the test does come? Are you going to be ready? Are you going to know how to respond correctly so you don’t fail?
When the test comes, you’ll answer with whatever you’ve been putting in. The knowledge and understanding you’ve hidden in you, is what you will know how to answer with. If you’re filling yourself up with doubt and unbelief, that’s not going to pass the test. If you’re not feeding yourself with knowledge and understanding of the Word of God, you won’t answer with the Word. You’ll answer with whatever you’ve been building your faith in. We can build faith in God by hearing and hearing His Word or we can build faith in the circumstance, when we aren’t hearing and hearing the Word. If the latter is the case, when the test comes you will not be ready.
I’ve heard this said, that our faith is like a sponge. Whatever we fill it with will be what comes out when it’s squeezed. What’s coming out of your mouth when you’re tested? What attitude and disposition is being squeezed out of you? Are you speaking faith? Are you speaking scripture? Are you exuding joy?
Ephesians 6:13-17, writes, “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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Does a soldier put on their uniform and get geared up at the battlefield or before he goes out to battle?
Too many Christians wait for the battlefield before they get ready to withstand the attacks of the devil. They’re too distracted by the affairs of this life to fill up on and guard the Word of God (Matthew 4:18-19). Is your distraction worth losing your victory? Sadly, too many Christians live distracted all the way to the battlefield and then scramble to find their armor. That is not what Jesus paid for! This is why so many Christians in this world look, act, and sound defeated. That is why so many Christians are defeated. With every distraction and with every time you neglect the Word, prayer, or showing up to your local church, you’re handing your victory over to the enemy, one piece of equipment at a time.
Recently, I’ve dealt with some trial in a certain area of my life. When I notice that fear is starting to creep in, I realize I’m not guarding the Word enough. So what do I do? I make sure to turn my focus back on Him, not just in theory, like “God, you’re good.” No, instead I get my heart filled up with the right scriptures that will answer the doubt and answer the trial. If I don’t pick up the gear, I’m not going to keep hold of my victory. When a financial trial comes, I better be sure I have the right answer to respond with. If a trial in my body comes, I better know that I’m heal and know where the Word tells me so! If offense tries to come I better guard against that, with the Word!
I’m a child of God! As a child of God, I’m a joint heir with Christ! All that Christ has is mine. All that the Word promises is mine! The equipment and the weapons are always available for us to use, but we’ve got to get them in our arsenal and keep them there if we’re going to have them when the test comes. Let’s hide the Word in our heart (Psalm 119:11) and have it when we need it, amen!?