Calm down, we aren't prophesying anything about actual events headed our way, just yet. Before going down that road, we need to talk about something that is FAR WORSE than crazy events and worldwide chaos. That's right, we are talking about the LULLS. Yes, THOSE times, when nothing too extravagant is happening. The times when we start getting back into our work groove, our social pockets and our scheduled lives. The days when we aren't paying as close attention to national or world news. Those days in between occurrences when it seems as though we finally caught a bit of 'normalcy' and recognizable stability.
Isn't it amazing that Vikings used to exist? Yeah, Vikings. The guys who had long braids, horned hats, full body armor on a daily basis and beards that our beloved hipsters only dream they could grow. They were warriors, valiant and brave and gross. They were dirty, bloody and not phased by their horrible hygiene. Even with the most active imagination we just can't do justice to the constant alertness that a Viking would have had to live with. Ready to battle at any time. Ready to journey for months on end, in order TO battle! When they weren't in an active battle, they were preparing for battle or eating, sleeping & making babies with one eye on the windows and doors in case (we guessed it), a battle suddenly arose. These guys trained themselves to be ready for anything at any time any place. One thing that we can take away from this Viking lifestyle is for sure, they were serious about battles.
Thank God that we no longer live in Viking times (and all the guys said, Amen). Thank God, also, that we have Jesus to the rescue with grace in His hands. This means that we don't need to do as the Vikings did, wrestling (battling) with flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12); our battles belong to our God. Let's see this scripture in it's entirety to get crystal clear on this point. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." In this verse there is a re-occurrence of the word 'against' and the literal definition of this word is to come face to face with or to face off our enemies. This ties into what is said next in verses 13 & 14, having done all to prepare ourselves to stand and then simply to stand our ground. Why is this important? Because even on our days 'off' when we put ALL THINGS into His complete oversight, He is doing as Deuteronomy 31:8 (NASB) perfectly puts it, "And the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed."
This is ever more important as we all move into the so called 'new normal' that is being implemented and projected out as far as the eye can see. But wouldn't it be something special to have a people group (us) reject the new normal, the old normal and all the other normal(s) while we are at it; and instead embrace and live out God's consistent WORD OF TRUTH even when immediate threats are not pending or pandemic-ing? We think so too. See, the truth of the matter is that when God says, "For My yoke is easy and my burden is light"; He isn't exaggerating, not even when it comes to possessing the land.
Deuteronomy 3:18 (NASB)
"Then I commanded you at that time, saying, "The Lord your God has given you this land to possess it; all you valiant men shall cross over armed before your brothers, the sons of Israel."
This is such a cool set of verses in Deuteronomy because Moses is building up the confidence and raising the spirits of the Israelites by listing all of the conquests that they had lived through, while at the same time giving each tribe a portion of the possession; and in the middle of these verses in the 3rd chapter, a message to us is revealed. The Lord God gave them the land, and the land became theirs. We too, have a land that we are in the line up to posses. A 'land' of established and thriving prosperity; a 'land' of divine health and ready to use healing; even a 'land' of dreams turned reality. No, this isn't a 'physical' land, it isn't even a 'parabolic' land; for us, this land is the TRUTH. And the TRUTH is even more substantial than the land under our feet, because the TRUTH (God) is the One who created that land in first place.
It is easy to gear up when it comes to eminent threats or dangers ahead (of course when we say 'easy' we are assuming the gearing up is done by the book, the bible that is); but gearing up for every single day, when nothing is visibly attacking or altering your groove, not so much. After all, our usual routines are filled with stuff! We pray and we wait and look for the results of our prayer and we grow anxious and we check our phones more often than we need to and we add ever more desperate addendums to the original prayer, hoping that we were specific enough with our needs. And day by day we wait, for what? For God. And our waiting becomes time consuming (if we let it).
Philippians 4:6-9 (NASB)
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you."
This verse is a spiritually organic way of keeping our minds from going into a LULL in our down time. The LULL of the down time (when not occupied with a focus on God and His attributes) can be an anxious time when traps are fallen into and suckers are punched.
Now back to the life of the ancient Vikings and what they did in the midst of the 'lulls" or "times of peace"; they prepared. With each other they honed their swordsmanship, their knife skills and their axing; in order to stay sharp. Proverbs 27:17 (NKJ) "As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." In their preparation time they were sharpening the vision and reflexes of their counterparts, for the sake of them being at their best when the time came, once again, for battle. How this applies to us 21st Century Jesus followers in the middle of a pandemic is revealed at the start of this Covid-ness. As people of God we began wielding our spiritual swords to fend for ourselves and our families against the viral (spiritual) attack. As time progressed the natural ever changing information began to sway our attention to the biology of the situation, causing many of us Godly people to focus on the symptoms rather than the source; duping us into to battling flesh and blood and laying down our spiritual swords (momentarily) in order to do so. See, in those flat times (as well as all other times) we need to maintain a lifestyle of using our sword of the word of God to communicate with the people around us about our Father, His love for us, His provision, HIs protection, and His ultimate, permanent, total victory over our spiritual enemy. This keeps all of us sharp, continually resets our minds and feeds our spirits in the middle of the day to day; but especially for the times that will come to raise our weapons against our eternally defeated foe.
The LULLS can be a good time, a mini reprieve, a time to tune up our inner Viking, and a time of keeping ourselves and those around us spiritually alert, mentally solid and physically capable. But lest we forget, these same LULLS can also work against us to LULL us to sleep, keeping us idle and lethargic if we don't redeem the time (for these days truly are evil, Ephesians 5:16). There is nothing more that the devil would love to do other than to rock you to sleep with his lying LULLaby. Stay awake. Even during times of peace and calm, we have work to do. The TRUTH of EVERY battle is that 1. The devil is defeated. 2. He is an outlaw. 3. It is our RIGHT to demonstrate His defeat. That's it.