Sir Joe was a son of a cousin of an uncle of Guinevere the wife of King Arthur. With the help of this influence, Joe was made a member of the famous Knights of the Round Table. Sir Joe was proud of his new position. It gained him a lot of popularity, especially among the fairer sex. While all the other knights were training in feats of arms or riding off on important missions, Sir Joe was lounging with his many admirers. When once Arthur asked him to go on a mission of some importance, Sir Joe refused. His excuse was that he had contracted a disease in the lungs or maybe it was the heart when he was young and ever since had been in frail health. As a result any strenuous activity would bring Sir Joe close to the grave since his lungs or his heart or it could have been his bowels would have given way. Arthur went away muttering something about not doing a favor for anyone anymore, even for his wife.
As Sir Joe lived his best life now, the other knights trained hard; preparing for the eventual invasion. The other knights despised Sir Joe and mocked him behind his back. Sir Launcelot even publicly rebuked Sir Joe calling him to act worthy of a knight. But Sir Joe had his excuses and would not listen. But soon Sir Joe would find that his lack of preparation and laziness would come to cover him in shame.
One day while Sir Joe was taking his afternoon ride in the forest to let the lunch meal slowly digest, he heard a scream. Sir Joe rode in the direction of the scream and found to his horror that a great dragon was carrying away a beautiful damsel. Sir Joe knew what to do. He charged. The earth trembled under the pounding hooves of his horse. The dragon roared and spat fire. Sir Joe at the dreadful moment of collision, drew his sword. But his sword was stuck in the scabbard. He pulled and pulled but it was rusted to the scabbard. While Sir Joe was distracted, the dragon flew off with his prize, not wishing to get into any conflict. Later he ate the lady in his cave. Sir Joe was ashamed of his failed attack. But no one knew about what had happened and he wasn't going to spread the word.
Sir Joe's downfall came some months later when the hosts of Mordred invaded the realm of King Arthur. The battle lines were drawn and the armies prepared for the coming battle the next day. Arthur told Joe that this was his day to prove himself. Sir Joe was scared the next morning as they lined up in battle formation. When the battle trumpet was sounded, he with the other knights charged. But something snapped in Joe's mind. Fear made him have a sort of brain fever. Sir Joe raced around the battle field swinging his sword wildly at anyone in his way. Sometimes he wounded or killed a foe, but at other times he felled some of his own compatriots. At some point his sword flew out of his hands and landed in the field. He jumped off his horse to get his sword only to be knocked out as his frightened horse kicked him in the head.
In spite of Sir Joe's antics, King Arthur and his knights won the battle. Sir Joe woke up after the battle with a massive headache. Arthur came up to him and said, "Ya know Joe, I think you are finished with the Knights of the Round Table." So a shamed and humiliated Joe went off to live his life in poverty and ridicule. All the people called him, Sir Joe the Unready and laughed at him as he walked by.
This story was written to illustrate one truth: That we must be prepared and ready every day for the spiritual battles that war against our soul. My story of Sir Joe is the story of many Christians. They are soldiers of Jesus Christ. But they forget the command to "Suffer hardship with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus." 2 Tim 2:3. They are not trained in the use of the sword of the Spirit. The deadly, desperate spiritual war every Christian is in is forgotten.The text in 1 Peter 5:8 is not remembered. "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour." They act as if the battle was over. Too many of Christ's soldiers are not prepared for the onslaught of the foe. They don't know how to use the Bible. They are lazy and more at home in the entertainment of the world than in the scriptures. They are spiritually fat and undisciplined. Such soldiers are in great danger from the kingdom of darkness.
The exhortation to you is; Wake up, there is a war going on. Learn to fight courageously and skillfully with the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit. The devil can't take away our salvation, but he can make us ineffective soldier for Christ. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58 Our victory is certain. Fight on!