A Look at Nehemiah: Are You Ready?

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“If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready” is one of those phrases that I’ve heard said jokingly by friends when someone is less prepared than the others in the group. But I wonder if there’s something to this concept. I wonder how often we are scrambling to get ready, reacting to circumstances around us, when we might make a different choice if we were already ready.

A couple weeks ago, I was completely thrown off by a situation. I thought that I had ample time to prepare for this situation in the future, I had no idea that I would be blindsided with it. I was certain I would be able to come up with my list of rules and boundaries and ensure they were securely cemented in place so that they would be followed by myself and others. I would set up accountability and a whole system to keep myself in check. It was truly a great plan!

But then I was caught by surprise. And the situation that I had never fathomed would happen, happened. And I had to create rules on the fly. I wasn’t ready and my lack of preparation showed.

What are you ready for?
How do you prepare for the unknows of life?

Nehemiah and his group of builders prepared for the worst and hoped for the best. They worked diligently and trusted the Lord to do the rest. After Sanballat and his group of haters roasted Nehemiah and the gang, they readied themselves for an attack.

So we labored at the work, and half of them held the spears from the break of dawn until the stars came out. I also said to the people at that time, “Let every man and his servant pass the night within Jerusalem, that they may be a guard for us by night and may labor by day.” So neither I nor my brothers nor my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes; each kept his weapon at his right hand.” Nehemiah 4:21-23 (ESV)

I love the simplicity of this passage: they knew they were going to be attacked, so they took necessary precautions. And this challenges me so much! I want to make excuses or believe that I’m not going to be put in difficult positions, but that’s simply not true. Our situation is just as clear-cut: we’re going to face difficulty so we should prepare ourselves accordingly.

For most of us, we don’t have to worry about arming ourselves physically, but we do have to prepare ourselves spiritually. Just as this crew came to work every day ready for a fight, we have to suit up daily as we navigate through life. There’s a reason why Paul, in Ephesians, tells us to put on the full armor of God—we can’t walk through life unprepared. 

I’ve been challenged, over the past week, to be more intentional with daily (and sometimes hourly) putting on the whole armor of God. We can’t always know what’s going to come our way, but we can do what we know to do and trust God with the rest. We can work from a place of rest, security, and identity, knowing that he is our good Father and we are his beloved children.

Let’s be more intentional to put on the full armor of God, preparing ourselves spiritually for whatever we will face.

How do you prepare yourself for life?

Are there any areas where you feel you need more preparation?

To go Deeper: Read Returning to Base, Sinking Sand
Check out
Follow the Cloud, My Story

Disclosure: some links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

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