How many times have you competed for something in your life? Go back to your childhood. You probably competed in a spelling contest or drawing contest. Or maybe you competed in track at school in Jr High. Most likely you would win a ribbon for those grade school competitions. Then maybe in High School or College you were on a team and your team competed for a trophy. Next in life you probably competed for a job promotion and the prize was a better office and pay raise. Maybe you were a salesperson and you competed to sell the most of your company’s product. They offered a trip to Hawaii for the most sales made. As humans we tend to love competition and the chance for a great prize. Yet we could have a great reward that would surpass any prize we could think we would want to win. Read Psalm 19:11-13.
“11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. 13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me.”
Previous to these verses we had read that God’s Word did many other great things for us. In verse 11 we see that it also provides us with a great reward. It may sound strange, but to understand our sins, our ability to be cleansed from them and to not be dominated by them anymore is a great reward. To have that freedom is a marvelous feeling. No earthly prize could ever compare. So it just makes good common sense to know God’s Word and receive God’s great reward.
God gives us every thing we need to be the strongest and best we can be in Him. He provides all the instructions we need in His Word. One great set of instructions is found in Ephesians Chapter 6 verses 10-18. In the Message version we find it paraphrased this way,
”10-12And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. 13-18Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”
We are being instructed by our all-knowing God, who provides us with what we need for an abundant life, out of his great abundance and great love, to use the weapons He has provided to help us stay strong in our faith, because He knows we are in middle of a great spiritual war. We are not God and we are not all-knowing and all-powerful, we can not stand against the devil on our own. We know God can win this war, when we can not. Therefore we need to do as we are instructed and use the weapons of warfare that God has provided in our best interest. We are not to be casual in this battle or we will go down. We will not be found standing. How sad that would be if we were not be found standing strong for our Lord, when He provided us with weapons and instructions.