“I know a battle is a hard thing to face, especially before breakfast!”
You all have heard me say this and I wish I could claim credit for saying it first, but it actually was said by a famous, or I should say infamous, Greek general. It was a speech he gave to his men before a battle that he later won. Okay, enough of the charade!
I came across it last spring while playing a computer game with interactive battle sequenses. I haven’t had time to play that game since I started my summer job right after the end of the spring semester, but the quote has stayed in my memory.
My life this summer has provided a lot of spiritual meaning to this otherwise laughable statement. Life in Christ is both a journey and a struggle, a battle if you will. just as breakfast starts off a day and gives strength to meet the challenges of the day, getting into the Word (spiritual food) early in the day helps prepare for the daily struggle. In Jason’s sermon on Sunday, he discussed seeking the Lord early (Psalm 63:1; “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.”)
I have noticed the quote at the top to be true, that when I don’t get into the Word early in the morning, at breakfast time, the day doesn’t go as well and there is greater probability that I will become stressed out, discouraged, and fall out of the battle. Many biblical figures can be used as examples of how this is true, but a prime example is Joshua.
I like Joshua, or Hoshea, not just because I share his name but for how his life has spoken to me. A story outside the book of Joshua is in Exodus 33. Joshua, the protege of Moses, is seen lingering in the tent of meeting after Moses has met with God face to face and gone out to address the people. I wonder what that was like and what God told him, but I would bet that it was along the lines of Joshua 1:5-9 and preparation for Joshua taking the mantle of leading the Israelites into the promised land.
Later in Joshua 5 before receiving the battle plan for conquering Jericho, Joshua is seen taking a step back and is met by the Commander of the Lord’s Armies. This can be contrasted with the defeat of the Israelites at Ai when the people didn’t consult God. This isn’t said specifically but if you read how God tells Joshua to do battle against them after the first defeat, it looks different than how the Israelites conducted the battle the first time. They tried to do battle before breakfast, if you will, and the people of Ai (try putting an -ian ending on that one :p) defeated them in battle. There are more examples in Israel’s history where the king didn’t consult God and was defeated, but though I won’t go into them, don’t just take my word for it.
“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.” Spiritual energy and vigor is tied to seeking God first (Matt 6:33 comes to mind here). The renewal that inevitably comes strengthens and contributes to the victory of the spiritual life lived out each and every day.
“Effective stress management is not about relieving stress but rather giving it up. ‘Be still and know that I am God!’ Psalm 46:10″