Dearest Ones, The closing work is hastening on as the time draws near for my coming. The loud cry is yet ahead of us, but the preparation of heart that you are doing now is preparing you to participate in the last great trumpet call to the world before probation closes. Now for the topic of today. It is "preparedness." When an army is preparing for battle, every soldier must undergo intense training with strengthening exercises and battle maneuvers. There are meetings where the resources and plans of the enemy are discussed, and every possible movement and advance of the opposing army are considered. No less preparations are required of those who have chosen to be in my church militant as the end of the great controversy is approaching. Therefore, as Supreme Commander of the armies of heaven, I would like to discuss with you, my beloved, chosen, and faithful followers, some of the plans that are necessary to be trained and ready for the final confrontation with Satan as the time grows near. First and foremost, you must be deeply and faithfully immersed in the study of the Scriptures. There you will find counsel, instruction, power, and wisdom to discern the wiles and ways of the evil one. You will also learn how to anticipate and recognize the assaults that he makes against you, and how to meet them with the sword of the Spirit and the Word of God. Next, you must keep in continual communion with me, and I will guide and instruct and warn you of the direct assaults or stealthy approach of the enemy, who tries to take you off guard. Good soldiers never lower their watchfulness, for battles have been lost and kingdoms have fallen through the drowsiness and inattention, or surfeiting and drunkenness of the soldiers. Another thing to remember is that great battles have been won by just one loyal servant, such as Gideon, Caleb, and Elisha, who recognized that there are angelic forces that are unseen by the naked eye who are on the field of battle and will bring forth the victory. So take courage, my chosen and faithful ones, for the victory over the enemy is sure if you trust completely in my leadership and use the power of the word as your shield and buckler. Next, you need to exercise your faith by being ready at a moment's notice to share with others that I bring into your pathway to hear the words of life, hope and truth that I have given to you; for the enemy is battling for the weaker souls who are not as strong in the faith as you are. Satan brings all kinds of temptations into their lives to discourage or disheartened them, or to draw them into worldly pursuits which will lead them away from reliance upon me and being aware of my leading in their lives, and the conditions upon which their salvation is to be founded. These wavering souls can be rescued from slipping away into the darkness by your attention to their needs for support and encouragement. Another element of preparedness is prayer and study time. The press of daily activities draws upon you as soon as you become conscious in the morning. But you must receive strength and direction from me, or you will be vulnerable to the challenges of the day that you do not even anticipate when you get up in the morning. But I know all about them, and I have already planned ahead to make a way of escape and victory for you if you are willing to commit your time, energy, and talents to me at the beginning of each day and continue your walk with me throughout the day. Another "must" for my soldiers is to put on the armor that I provide for you. Do not try to fashion yourself after someone else's life, for I have designed the blueprint plan for your life with just the right armor for you. I take into consideration your temperament, your gifts, your strengths and weaknesses, and my goals for you each day, and as you look to me I will strengthen you for every skirmish with the devil, and bring you out of the trial victoriously, just as I was victorious in the wilderness over him. The last point that I want to make today is to seek to be filled by all the gifts and graces of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance [Gal. 5:22, 23], and all the facets of wisdom that you need. [Prov. 8:12-14.] And for each of you, I have the special gifts of the Spirit [Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12: 7-11; 27-31; Eph.4:10-13] that I have promised to give to each one who enters my kingdom and fights in my army. These are all for you, so ask for anything that you need, and it will be given to you. But first you must prepare your heart to receive it by cleansing your heart of all defilement in cooperation with my work for you each day. Now go to the activities of your day, but always remember that you are chosen to be a part of the glorious victory of the cause of righteousness, and when you stand for my truth in the power of my Spirit, you will receive the reward of eternal life with me and my Father, and forever enjoy the fruit of your labors as you fought successfully the battle against the dragon and the beast of Revelation 13 and 17, in the final struggle between truth and error, light and darkness. So go in peace and victory today, and never be afraid of the roar of the lion, for he is already a beaten foe at the cross! Soon he and his followers will be no more. In the meantime, always remember that you are never alone, for I am always by your side, and I will sustain and strengthen you and give you victory over the enemy until I come and take you home! Lovingly, Jesus.