Are you ready for a fight?

  So much sadness in this world is brought on simply because we are not fighting.
I heard this verse at a Bible study the other night and I wanted to jump up and scream YES!!! AMEN!!! PREACH IT!!  but it wasn’t that type of study. I might have been hauled out of the room. Here is the verse:
Nehemiah 4:14
After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “DON’T be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is GREAT and AWESOMEand FIGHT for your FAMILIES, your SONS and your DAUGHTERS, your WIVES and your HOMES.”
Think for a second about the things for which we fight. 
We fight through hoards of people on Black Friday for a deal. 
We fight through lines at Disney World to put temporary smiles on our children’s faces. 
We fight through a work day to earn money to get stuff. 
We fight with customer service people because our computer/phone/car needs to be fixed now. 
We fight with loved ones to get our way. 
We fight.
But sometimes, we forget what it is for which we should really be fighting until it is too late and we have lost everything that matters most without even realizing we were at war.
DISCLAIMER:
Some things make me feel old, like….well…people younger than me. But the reality is I am young. Very young. And my children are still little. So one might think it is easy for me to say the things I am going to say while I don’t yet have a teenager under my roof or a wayward son whom I raised to make better choices than he is making. Please know that I know this. But…. God’s word is true, no matter the age of the person proclaiming it. I mean, Jeremiah, was like 20. And we Christians sure love us some Jeremiah 29:11!
So here goes.
 It seems to me that very few people are fighting for their families anymore. And from what I have seen,there is one major, glaring reason why…..
They don’t know they are supposed to be fighting!
Naive newlyweds promise things that simply won’t happen spontaneously.
Misguided parents expect unspeakable joy without hair pulling hard times.
And even adult children (hand raised) expect parental approval with no judgement.
But none of these things are going to just….. happen. None.
A good marriage is hard work, and quite often one person works harder than the other.
Raising children is not for the faint at heart. Those kids are miniature copies of us, for better or worse, and often magnify the very things about ourselves with which we struggle.
So what is the solution? Well, this is not a self help book, but I do have 2 suggestions.
1. Don’t expect easy. Expectations can be our biggest enemy.
2. FIGHT!!! Starting now. The battle rages daily. Seen and unseen. If you wait for an apparent attack to start fighting, you have an uphill battle on your hands.
Ok, fine, I’ll fight, you concede,  But how?
While there are many great books on their on raising a godly family. The most important step is also the most ignored and underrated.
Prayer.
Example: My mother.
Some of you know her, and just nodded your head and thought, “yup. enough said.” But for those that don’t have the pleasure of her acquaintance, allow me to explain.
I hated going to bed as a child, and yes, I still do.
Nearly every night, at the regular time I would stumble out of my room, look down into the living room and see my mother, in her lavender robe ( satin in the summer, fleece in the winter) knitting and praying. This is what she does. Pray and knit. She has given out more “prayer blankets” to new babies than I could begin to count.
If they updated the Bible with pictures, hers would be next to James 5:18, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (woman) availeth much”
That woman has moved mountains. I have stories. I have seen it with my own eyes. She has always known there was a war raging. Always.
Pray with your husband, or trusted friends, or family. Pray by yourself. Just pray.

The full battle plan is found in Ephesians 6. Read it. I know, you have read it before, read it again. Print it out. Stick it on your fridge. Memorize it. Live it!! Remember the Lord, who is GREATand AWESOME and FIGHT for your FAMILIES!

10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

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