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  • Writer's picturePastor John Anderson

Keep Your Powder Dry!

"The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD." - Proverbs 21:31

Edward Hayes tells the story in his Ballads of Ireland written in 1856, of a speech made by Oliver Cromwell. The English were preparing for a large encounter with the Irish armies and there was much fear and trepidation on the part of the younger soldiers who had never seen conflict. One frightened young man cried out to Cromwell minutes before the invasion: "Is it necessary to fight this battle, can we not trust God and ask Him to devour our enemies." Cromwell, known for his frankness and sense of humor shouted out, "Gentlemen, put your trust in God; but mind to keep your powder dry." Literally Cromwell was saying, we need to trust God but we also need to be prepared to fight! Keep your gun powder ready!

There is a tension many times in the mind of a believer regarding trusting God and making decisions. I have witnessed Christians experience spiritual paralysis and not make wise decisions because they are "trusting the Lord." There is a fear that if we act we may not be trusting the Lord. Or if we make a decisive statement or decision, we are not seeking God's wisdom or His face.

I truly believe that the Christian life is a holy tension. God gives us our minds to think biblically and practically; He gives us our will to gauge our tenderness towards Him; and most importantly He gives us His Word and Holy Spirit to direct our minds and will. When a believer is in the Word their mind and their will is being saturated by the wisdom of God and the will of God perpetually. This does not EXCLUDE them from making decisions, this EMPOWERS them to make make godly decisions!

Every one of us face decisions daily that we cannot hide from and put off making. I love the maxim that the Proverbs give us. Prepare the horse for battle, but trust the Lord! Cromwell, trust God but keep your powder dry! Child of God, prepare your heart, mind, and will to make decisions today for God's glory by saturating your heart and mind in the Word of God. This is how you can trust the Lord. When the decision arises, meditate upon that which you have learned in the Word of God and pray through the best decision. When it comes time to make the decision, make it clearly, joyfully, and confidently because you are trusting God!

As many will be making decisions over the next few weeks for themselves, their families, and others; it is my prayer that we will trust God but keep our powder dry! Allow this season to teach you to hear the wisdom of God from His Word and be your guide to confident living and leadership. When I have to make difficult decisions I usually go through a season of great anxiety in my spirit. I have learned to embrace that anxiety. Whenever my anxiety is high this is my reminder to seek God's face in His Word more! God's peace always comes to my spirit and washes away my anxiety about making a decision when I feast in His Word and find His Wisdom! So start preparing today! Don't wait until you have to make a decision. Prepare for tomorrow's decisions today!

Trust God but Keep your powder dry!

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