Standing in the rain can be a whole different experience when you have a clear umbrella. I had one as a kid and I would stand in the rain looking through my umbrella at the rain falling towards me. It amazed me how simply it rolled off my umbrella in defeat.
In the spiritual realm, we all have weapons for warfare. Whether we choose to use them is up to us.
Focusing on our gifts of the Holy Spirit is our first step to strengthening our gifts for the glory of God. Take the Spiritual gifts test here.
Once you know your gifts, start using them for the good of others. Remember the saying, practice makes perfect! So if you have the gift of intercession, start praying more. When you ask others how they are doing, ask them if there is someway you can pray for them.
Once we are aware of our strengths, we can put on the armor of God to help us with our weaknesses. We do this by learning and mediating on the WORD of GOD. Knowing and understanding God’s words through proper guidance of the saints that went before us is powerful. Truth in scripture is a powerful weapon and more importantly, Jesus’ choice of weapon against the devil in Matthew 4:1-11 when he is tempted. Truth in scripture is not only useful as armor, it is a beautiful tool in preparing our hearts for the battle.
God’s promises are present in the Word. When we know the truth and speak it and obey the direction of God’s wisdom in the Bible, our lives change for the better. In the Bible, God calls things that are not as though they already are. For example, he called Abram the father of many nations before he had a son. One possible reason for this is God is not limited by time, He knows what will happen, but why does He tell us or put things on our heart beforehand? I have found it is to prepare our hearts for what He is about to do, but it is also a test of faith. Jesus waited for those who approached him for healing to demonstrate their faith. That is why he did not perform many miracles in His home town, it was because of the lack of faith.
You can not accept grace, healing or a blessing without faith. Those who harden their heart while waiting for unanswered questions miss the opportunity to feel the true presence of Jesus’ soul and divinity in the Eucharist. God is a gentleman, He won’t touch you until you allow Him to rest in you. In the scriptures it says, “You will find me when you seek me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:13. If you’re not seeking, don’t expect to feel something. Leap first, then feel the joy.
Finally, the third step in accepting God’s umbrella is through community. God loves our worship and is faithful to His promises as we express our faith in this way, but developing virtues happen in community. God calls us to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39). Jesus would not ask us to do something that would not benefit our souls. As we learn to love others, we must search for guidance in His example and those of the saints; godly men and woman before us. In doing this, we grow in the virtues and become a wiser version of ourselves.
As we love others and learn how to be present to them, we become umbrellas in their time of rain. Soon we realize God is working through us as His instrument. We become God’s choice of weapon when we are ready, available and strong in His Word. So when God dresses to go into battle, we will be by his side keeping in mind, He has already won.