Go Forward – Fast 2016 – Day 3

Go Forward! – Fast 2016 – Day 3 – Prepare for War – Exodus 13:18b

18b … And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.

This is a very curious statement to end the verse. It tells us that God led the nation away from the Philistines because of their possible aversion to war and the reality that the threat of war would send some running for the hills, at least running back to the leeks and onions of the Nile River basin. Slaving away making bricks with mud and straw would seem like a very good option (one they will consider way later in their trip) for the weak. This verse tells us that they were organized and at least to some extent equipped for making war with any that would oppose them. They were placed into marching columns and rows in such a fashion so as to quickly go on the attack or to be prepared to defend themselves. Shortly after this verse we will see that that readiness breaks down a bit, but that is for another day. The point for today is that they had made the necessary preparations for the battles that were sure to come before them and they were, at least in theory, ready.

Application warning! Yesterday we looked at the wilderness road which lay before them (and you) and saw what a dangerous and volatile route this manner of pursuing God can be. But just as God “led” them into the wilderness He will help prepare you for the battles you will face as well. Just as in the physical world there are preparations which can be made for the challenges of life, there are also checklist items for your spiritual journey.

In the few days following Christmas Day here in the state of Arkansas, there were many intense storms which were accompanied by torrential downpours. The end result of this series of storms was widespread flooding. Some of the worse hit places saw record floodwaters. For several days following the storms the local news stations would show footage of the devastation left behind by the waters. It became evident that some of the people living in the flood prone areas had taken the time to prepare by filling bags with sand and making or reinforcing barriers around their homes. Some had obviously not. It was somewhat reminiscent of the Bible story of the wise man who built his house on the rock and the foolish man who built his house on the sand. The wise man thought ahead and made great choices, and the foolish man, well you know how that ended.

As you are just now really getting into this prayer and fasting journey it would be wise for you to take a few moments to stop and make proper preparations for the coming battles. Some preparations are simple and mechanical. If you are fasting all sweets then take the time to get rid of all the Snickers candy bars from the house. Some are a little more difficult like making sure that you have selected and prepared a time and place for yourself to meet with God each day during this journey. Grab your Bible, this Fasting Guide, and a notebook and spend some time getting ready to face your battles so that you might come out more than a conqueror – all of course through the name of Jesus!


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