The mighty warrior prince raises his sword for battle. A fierce enemy awaits just beyond the forest edge. Its eyes glow red. Scales layer the beasts exterior. Shards of moonlight slice through the darkness and reflect off the black scales. The prince listens quietly in the night. No sound escapes his hearing. The crunch of dried leaves beneath clawed feet and the heaving breath of a giant enemy meet his waiting ears. The prince wets his drying lips and begins to whisper low and firm. A quiet prayer whispered in nearly quiet night. The words of this warrior take flight in the gentle breeze and ascend heavenward. He does not fear the darkness for he serves the master of light and the conqueror of all darkness. A beast far worse than any this prince has fought before emerges from the tree line. It breathes deep and exhales a fiery blow. Flames close in on the prince and he raises his shield. Fire bounces back toward the enemy and the warrior prince runs quickly to thrust his sword beneath the shimmering scales. A painful roar breaks the night air as a giant falls in defeat.
This morning I sat in dim light at my kitchen table. That is the only time I am able to find for quiet devotions. I generally pour my first cup of coffee and begin reading before six every morning. This morning was no exception. I opened my bible to Proverbs and started to read. Halfway through the second verse, my middle boy crept out of the hallway. He was up long before his usual time. He slid onto my lap and leaned back against my chest. I was frustrated that I wouldn't get my "quiet time" and then realized this could be a quiet together time. I changed course and opened my bible to Jeremiah 29:11 and let him read to me. He's still young, so the words were slow and broken. In that moment, I was struck by a vivid picture in my mind. When I see a little boy awake before dawn, God sees a warrior preparing for battle.
Have you ever thought about how often God used youth to accomplish much? Throughout the bible we are told of children that were given courage to do mighty works. One example would be David when fighting the mighty Philistine, Goliath. Even though the King was worried David would be too small and was only a child, David feared nothing because of his faith. I love this story and, even more, I love David's response to Goliath's taunting ... "you come at me with a sword, with a spear and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied." I get chills reading that scripture.
In Ephesians, we are given a clear message that spiritual warfare is very real and also very defeatable. We must put on the full armor of God. Now more than ever, our children need this armor to achieve great things and to hear the call of our heavenly Father.
So, I ask myself and other parents ... are we giving our young the encouragement to do great things? Are we laying a foundation of faith in their lives ... a foundation that will provide the full armor of God? I'm afraid I have fallen short in this area. In my attempt to keep them little as long as possible, I sometimes hold them back from achieving great things.
My quiet time with God is important and I will strive to find that time. But, from now on, I will enjoy every moment with my mighty warrior.
Ephesians 6:10-17 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For 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. 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."