Summary: 11th in a series on spiritual warfare dealing with the source of peace
Chico Alliance Church
October 8, 2006
Pastor David Welch
"Spiritually Aware, Alert, Armed and Aggressive" Pt 11
“Prepared with Peace - 2”
I. Be Aware
III.Be armed & aggressive
A.Be fully empowered
B.Be fully armed
C.Stand firm – engage the enemy
1.Stand firm having girded your loins with TRUTH
2.Stand firm armed with RIGHTEOUSNESS
3.Stand firm prepared with PEACE
This piece of armor prepares us for the battle.
Without this piece of armor we become ineffective soldiers, subject to continual defeat.
and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; Eph 6:15
This piece of armor relates to our interaction with the world around us. When things function as God designed them to function, there is peace. Peace describes the natural state of affairs when things function according to God’s design.
The actual term “peace” has a broad range of meaning and application.
It conveys the idea of health, prosperity, rest, wholeness, security, completion, unity, tranquility, serenity, calmness. The term applies to several realms,
Spiritual realm -- our interaction with God and the spirit world
Personal realm -- our interaction with ourselves, our thoughts and our feelings
Social realm – our interaction with the people around us (family, church, work, strangers)
Physical realm – our interaction with physical circumstances disaster, sickness, difficulties of life
When these realms function according to God’s design there is peace. When any of these realms fail to function according to God’s design there is chaos. It is the feeling we get when the house is in order, the activity went as planned and conceived, the relationships function well. All of these realms are intricately connected so that any malfunction in any one of these worlds affects the others. Before the fall, interaction in all of these worlds was peaceful. This is a description of life before the fall. Interaction with God was healthy, peaceful, prosperous, and secure. Adam and Eve rested in perfect love and trust and obedience. There was no ground for fear. There was continual open communication. There was no ground for Satan’s influence. It was a time of peace. The physical world functioned perfectly as designed. No death, disaster, sickness, decay, deterioration. There was perfect health. There was perfect interaction between man and beast. It was God’s original creation and it was good as God declared! It was a peaceful environment. Adam and Eve related as God designed. Absolute vulnerability, no shame, no blame, no selfishness. Perfect communion. Perfect compatibility. Perfect cooperation. The peace of God ruled their relationship. Each individual functioned to the full capacity of their gifts and carried out responsibility with competence and joyful satisfaction. No depression, no inferiority, no feelings.
Because everything functioned as designed it was a time of absolute peace. That was before disobedience and sin disrupted the peace in every aspect of our world. Disobedience turned peace with God to fear, judgment, shame, cover-up, strained relationship. Protection from the evil one turned to vulnerability and control. Their once peaceful physical environment turned to complete disruption and deterioration. Fruitfulness and health turned to futility, sickness, disease, pain and the inevitability of physical death. The climates changed, weed erupted, animals turned hostile, the whole physical world turned upside down resulting in chaos rather than peace. Romans says the whole of creation was subjected to futility and groans; longing for redemption. The peace they had with each other turned to blame, selfishness, jealousy, murder, strife and disharmony. Inner peace turned to fear, stress, anxiety, confusion, brokenness, depression and inner turmoil. Peace turned to chaos because nothing now functioned as God designed.
Ever since, man has desperately tried to restore peace to his world. Even the best of human efforts are futile since true restoration can only come from the Prince of Peace whom the world has rejected. Only Christ can restore life to the way God intended resulting in peace. God established the road to restoration from the beginning. The promises of ultimate restoration and a future eternal kingdom of peace run all through the Scripture.
We struggle with this excruciating lack of peace every day and in every realm.
We struggle in our interaction with God.
We struggle in our interaction with people around us.
We struggle in our interaction with life’s circumstances.
We struggle with our inner response to those circumstances; fear, anxiety, worry, troubled hearts, confusion, frustration, sorrow, depression.
Where can we find peace in a world of chaos? Jesus addressed our desperate longing to live in peace and at peace.
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27
Through Jesus we can experience peace with God, peace with others and peace within ourselves now as well as ultimately peace in the physical realm when creation itself will experience restoration to its original peaceful state.