PEACE + FAITH = VICTORY (Armor of God – 4)
(13 of 15 blogs about spiritual warfare and marriage/family, taken from material I presented at a marriage retreat, Winning the Battle For Your Family, in 2019)
Peace. Everyone talks about it but few have it. The world abounds with substitutes or that which seeks to mask the pain of emptiness. Yet God’s peace is necessary to have victory in our lives. Paul, looking at the Roman soldier with him, says we need peace like the soldier needs solid, dependable footwear (Ephesians 6:15). The enemy would pick a place to attack that was advantageous to them and difficult for the Romans. Water, loose sand, sharp rocks or uneven terrain all gave the enemy an advantage. Therefore the Romans needed sturdy, strong footwear to keep their footing. If they slipped or stumbled they were defeated.
Satan attacks us when and where he thinks he has the best opportunity of winning. We need to be at peace with God so we are secure in Him and can stand no matter what happens in life. God never said He would remove our conflicts but that He would help us through them (John 17:15). He doesn’t promise us absence of difficulties, but He does promise peace despite them (Philippians 4:6-7; Isaiah 26:3; John 14:27; 2 Thessalonians 3:16).
If a husband or wife do not have God’s peace but instead have turmoil, anxiety, stress or confusion that will negatively affect their marriage. Each needs to have peace with God first, then based on that they can be at peace with each other. This will give them a firm footing no matter what the enemy throws at them. Without God’s peace in your heart and relationship your marriage will be characterized by conflict. That not only harms you but your children, and their impression of marriage. Children, too, need the peace of Jesus so they can mature to be like Him and fight their own spiritual battles.
The next piece of armor listed by Paul is the shield of faith. So far all the armor was part of the soldier’s inner defense. The shield is the outer wall of defense (Ephesians 6:16). Roman soldiers carried large shields which they held in front of them for protection from the burning tar the enemy would fling at them (Ephesians 6:16). Without a shield they would have to dodge the fiery missiles and not be able to do any other fighting. Paul said this shield did for the soldier what our faith does for us.
Faith in God’s love and sovereignty is our outer wall of defense. If we truly believe that no matter what happens God is in control and only allows what is for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28), then we won’t be defeated by life’s problems and pains. The greater our faith is, the stronger our protection is. It’s like having a large shield compared to a very small one.
Marriage, too, must be built on faith – in God and each other. Love must be unconditional, commitment must be unshakable and forgiveness must be continual. When hard times hit a marriage, faith in God keeps both partners focused on God and not the problem or each other’s failings. Don’t battle your mate. Trust God and together battle your common enemy. Have faith that God knows and does what is best for you, and that your mate is His perfect choice for you for the rest of your life.
Teach your children to walk by faith and obedience. Start by teaching them to trust and obey you when young. Show you are worthy of trust. Help them transfer this to God as they get older. They must have a faith of their own. They can’t hide behind your shield but must ‘own’ their faith and develop their individual faith in God. Start building their faith right now.
John 17:15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
On a scale of 1 (very weak) to 10 (very strong) where would you rate your peace? What takes away your peach quicker than anything else? What should you do about it?
On a scale of 1 (very weak) to 10 (very strong) where would you rate your faith? Where/when is your faith the strongest? Where/when is it the weakest? What should you do to increase your faith?
Christian Training Organization