Earl, my father-in-law, constantly presses in to a certain life philosophy. Even in the early years of my marriage to Amber, he always talked about this concept: Whether it be your hunting equipment, your tools, or your camping gear, take care of it. If you do, it will take care of you.
Being prepared for whatever lies ahead is a principle I have tried to teach my kids and live by myself. Several years ago, in the late fall, my dad and I were riding out on our ATVs after a long day of hunting in the mountains. We were miles away from our truck. As we came around a corner, there were two young men standing on the trail. It is not unusual to see others out there, but these two were quite a sight and miles from civilization. Both were wearing tennis shoes, blue jeans, and t-shirts. They were soaked to the bone from the previous night’s rain. I could tell right away that these two guys had been through the wringer. Dad and I stopped to talk to them to find out their situation. They had been lost for two days. They seemed to be shocked that they were in this situation in the first place, as if it were someone else’s fault. Their 4-wheeler had broken down, and they had spent the next 48 hours trying to find their way out. They had no food, no extra clothing, and no way to start a fire. It was a miracle that they had survived thus far. Our initial response was to leave them there out on the trail. Maybe a bear would get them. Then the darn love of Christ thing cropped up. We had to help them out. It was the right thing to do. About the time we were contemplating on how to “save” them, one of the people who had been looking for them came down the trail, and gave them a ride out of there. The two young men found themselves in the headlines the next day, and the local community was at ease that they were home safe.
The principle here is the idea of being ready. It is easy to ridicule those guys for going into the woods unprepared. Unfortunately, I have found myself in similar conditions spiritually as those two on the trail. Haven’t you? We go out into a world with spiritual forces trying to destroy us, and we are without the equipment needed to survive. There are dangers in our spiritual lives, and a lot of times, we are unaware.
What is this equipment? The armor of God! We must go out prepared for battle. We have to put on the armor – not missing even one piece! The minute we forget to lift up our shields of faith is the moment Satan will attack. Our belts of truth won’t do a lot of good if Satan is pointing his arrows at our chests. Even if those guys in the woods had had food to eat, they still could have frozen to death out in the woods without warm clothes!
Today as you read this, do an equipment check. Do you have all the armor on? Remember to take care of your gear, and it will take care of you.