1. The first key to readiness is standing resolute before the enemy (6:14a)
2. The second key to readiness is standing righteous before the enemy (6:14b)
3. The third key to readiness is standing reconciled before the enemy (6:15)


I read in the news that Russia tested some new missiles this week. For several years, America has been testing a new missile defense system. It has passed enough tests that plans are being made to deploy parts of the system to Europe soon. As a matter of fact, we are planning on sending systems to Poland and the Czech Republic. As you know, those are now NATO nations, but they used to be part of the Soviet Union. Apparently all of that missile defense activity has made the Russians unhappy. On Tuesday, they had a news conference about their missile tests. Of all the claims they made about their successful missile tests, one stood out. Vladimir Putin said, “As of today, Russia has new tactical and strategic complexes that are capable of overcoming any existing or future missile defense systems.” Wow, that’s a blast from the past, isn’t it? If I didn’t know better, I would have thought I was reading news from 20 or 25 years ago. Missile shields and ICBMs were common newsmakers during the Cold War, but who would have expected that we would be talking about them again? I pray that those days don’t come back. Those are some “good old days” I can do without. You remember those days—the world was divided into two camps—NATO headed by America and the Warsaw Pact headed by the Soviet Union. We were in a huge arms race including a nuclear arms race. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, large portions of the public lived in fear of “the bomb.” But that fear was turned to preparation. People built bomb shelters out of fear of nuclear war. They stocked up and stored food and supplies. Nuclear bomb drills were more common in schools than fire drills. The government’s official policy was containment, but the military’s official policy was readiness. Of course, nobody wanted nuclear war to happen. The potential for destruction was unimaginable. But the key was for everyone to be ready in case it did. Drills in school were designed to make the children ready for an attack. Bomb shelters in public buildings and even homes were designed to make the public ready for an attack. Constant drills and exercises were designed to make the military ready for an attack. The key to America being able to stand against an enemy as evil and powerful as the Soviet Union was our readiness. Readiness for their attack. As Christians we have an enemy that is far more powerful than the Soviet Union ever was. He is far more powerful than any weapon man can build. As Christians, he can’t have our soul, but he can destroy us. He can devour us. He can destroy our testimony. He can destroy our purpose. He can destroy our effectiveness for the kingdom. He can even destroy our physical lives. His mission is to turn people