Fortifying the City

By: Sarah Arend

PillarsI’ve had some thoughts rattling around in my head recently. They’re about being equipped to stand against the enemy’s attacks. I’m a senior at Concordia Academy and oftentimes I feel really safe at Concordia; I know that I have people who will support and love me, I am comfortable there, I’ve been there for four years. But the fact of the matter is, in reality I’m not that safe [5]. In fact, nowhere that I go will really be safe. Nothing is safe because we have an enemy. And this enemy is going to attack, because he seeks our destruction at all times [1]. This means that no matter how safe I may feel like I am, I must be on my guard. And when I am in a place that is protected, that is the time to spring into action to prepare for an attack. It is not the time to get lazy or complacent.

It’s the idea of fortifying the city in peace [2]. If a city waits until it is under attack to fortify itself, its efforts will be far less effective and it will weaken itself because it must divide its forces. As Christians, we are far more vulnerable if we wait until we are under attack to go to the Word and to seek God. We need to internalize the truth before the attacks come so that when they do (which they will) we will already be equipped. In times of peace, or even when things seem mundane, it is so easy to get lax. It’s easy to look at past hardships and think, “Well I’m glad that’s over so I can rest,” or even to think, “Hey, you know I deserve a break after all this hard work.” And rest is a good thing. In fact, the Lord sometimes will grant us times of rest, but we should not equate resting with doing nothing. In 2 Chronicles where it talks about the Lord granting rest to Judah (footnote 2), that is for the purpose of fortifying the city. For me, I want resting to be a time of settling Truth within me so deeply it will not be moved. I want resting to be finding verses that speak the Truth of who God is so that I know His voice and character when under siege [6].

There is always more hardship to come, and sometimes it will be worse than we think because the enemy doesn’t play nice [3]. If there is a crack in the wall, he will take the whole thing down. Open the door and he will charge right on in. This is why internalizing the Truth, knowing undeniably who God is, and fortifying the “city” (ourselves)  is paramount. If we do not internalize the Truth in times of peace, we cannot reach for it in battle [4]. If we do not know undeniably who God is when He is easily accessible, how much harder will it be to find Him when we are under attack? And if we do not fortify in peace, we will become quickly depleted when attacks come because we must both defend and strengthen ourselves. The word of God, His Truth, is our weapon, our armor. The more than we can saturate ourselves in it, the stronger that we are. It is a mighty defense so that when evil comes, we can stand our ground. And when the war is over, we will remain standing [7].

 

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
  2. 2 Chronicles 14:6 He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the LORD gave him rest.
  3. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
  4. Jeremiah 12:5 “If you have raced with men on foot
    and they have worn you out,
    how can you compete with horses?
    If you stumblea in safe country,
    how will you manage in the thickets byb the Jordan?
  1. 1 John 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
  2. 1 John 5:20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
  3. Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 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.
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