I'm always touched by the way certain words leap to the forefront at just the right time, as though God knows just what I need. Because, of course, He does. Furthermore, His Word is "living and active," which means it will always hold a rich cupful of truth for me to linger over and receive.
Today's reading was no different, although the words, interestingly, came from the less-than-stellar King Ahab:
One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.
1 Kings 20:11
A fitting proverb, poised as we are to enter a New Year. 2015 has come to a close. We take off the armor of 2015, boasting only in what the Lord has done. But we cannot enter 2016 on the strength of 2015's victories. We cannot boast of what's to come, "This will be the most victorious year ever!"
Rather, we must put on our armor anew, moving forward in the strength of His promises.
As Spurgeon wrote, "Under the most happy circumstances you cannot give light for another hour unless fresh oil of grace is given you." Neither can we remain faithful and strong in our armor for another hour (let alone another year) without the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us.
"Great is Thy Faithfulness" quietly streamed nearby as I read from 1 Kings this morning. I can surely attest to and boast in my Lord's faithful love and care throughout 2015.
This coming year holds new adventures, some expected (my oldest son's graduation among them!), but most of them unknown. And so we prepare ourselves as warriors who are sure of victory . . . but also as warriors who know that opposition and attack are a part of this earthly work.
(I'm reminded of a powerful poem a dear friend once wrote: The Epic.)
We faithfully put on our armor with confidence until that final, triumphant day when we will lay our swords and shields at our Savior's feet for the last time, reveling in our worthy King's glorious victory. That, my friends, will be the best "New Year" ever.