They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. (Ps. 20:8)

I watched my great-nieces playing basketball. Their coach kept telling them, “Stand tall; raise your arms.” That way they could block their opponents and also be ready if the opportunity to get the ball came their way. It was a way to stay alert and constantly be on their toes—literally.

Psalm 20 starts with a series of prayers of blessing and ends with the assurance of victory. The people have God on their side and will rise up and stand firm against the enemy. They will lift their banners high and proclaim God as their protector.

I recently watched a faith-based movie about a losing football team who became winners when they first bent their knees and dedicated their best to God. Each time they prepared to meet their opponents, they remembered who their protector was. They played for Him, not their own pride. It made all the difference in their performance, attitudes, and victories.

Perhaps, like my great-nieces’ team and the team in the movie, the best offense is a great defense. When we voluntarily go to our knees before taking on a battle in our lives, we are enabled to stand firm when we rise up. With our priorities being God and His means, we cannot buckle and fall.

Kneeling first is the best way to prepare for battle.

Julie B. Cosgrove is a widowed Christian author and speaker who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is involved with women’s and outreach ministries.