Spiritual Preparation 1 Sam 7:3-12 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Preparation is vital to success in any endeavor. Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” The Lord says much about preparation in the Bible. Ants are exceeding wise because “they prepare their meat in summer,” [Prov 30:25]. The Lord instructs the enemies of Jerusalem to “prepare war against her,” [Jer 6:4]. The Lord tells Ezekiel to “prepare stuff for removing,” [Ezek 12:3] as an example to Judah of their impending removal in captivity. Solomon said that before you build your house, you need to “prepare thy work without,” [Prov 24:27]. Jesus said before his crucifixion, “I go to prepare a place for you,” [Jn 14:2]. Before the second coming of Jesus, Amos says to Israel, “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel,” [Amos 4:12].
Preparation is essential. Your defeat in spiritual battles is more often from a lack of spiritual preparation than from anything else. In this passage, Israel had just suffered defeat at the hands of the Philistines and their ark had just been returned. In order to get ready for another battle with the Philistines, Samuel says to them, “Prepare you hearts unto the Lord.” That’s spiritual preparation. Spiritual preparation in your life requires:
Spiritual Circumcision – 1 Sam 7:3 – Samuel said for them to “put away the strange gods” – they needed to return to the Lord – likewise you need to shed spiritual influences in your life that are contrary to God [Deut 30:6].
Spiritual Commitment – 1 Sam 7:3 – “serve him only” – you need to make a commitment to the Lord that you are going to serve the Lord – you cannot just go through life doing as you please – you will never survive the spiritual battles of life without a commitment to serve the Lord.
Spiritual Companions – 1 Sam 7:6 – “gather together” – you must have the companionship of others when you go through spiritual battles – they are so encouraging to you and they provide you with strength in numbers – get with the companions that God wants you to have.
Spiritual Cleansing – 1 Sam 7:6 – “fasted” – fasting gets the junk out of your life to see the Lord more clearly and to see what’s in your heart more clearly – it strengthens you for the battles.
Spiritual Contrition – 1 Sam 7:6 – “we have sinned against the Lord” – they repented – one of the best ways to prepare for spiritual conflicts and battles is to get sin behind you by confessing and forsaking it.
Spiritual Contest – 1 Sam 7:7 – “the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel” – there will always be spiritual battles because you will always have spiritual enemies – the Lord uses these enemies to strengthen you in battle and to make you better – Job was certainly strengthened after his battle – the Lord was led into the wilderness by the Spirit right after his baptism. In your battles you will need:
- Devoted Intercession – 1 Sam 7:8 – “cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us” – Samuel prayed for Israel in this battle – and you will need some of your spiritual companions praying for you.
- Divine Intervention – 1 Sam 7:10 – ‘but the Lord thundered… and discomfited them” – the Lord won this battle and the Lord will win your battles, as well, when you make these spiritual preparations.
Conclusion: Like Israel, you will be able to raise your Spiritual Commemorative [1 Sam 7:12] saying. “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” You must have a win to keep going and you will always be able to look back to that win as a reminder that the right spiritual preparations yield victory!!