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"Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" - (Romans 12:16-18).
Spiritual warfare is part of the Christian life. Psalm 144:1 says, "Praise be to the Lord, my Rock. Who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle." Exodus 15:3 says, "The Lord is a mighty warrior; the Lord is his name." We are living on earth in enemy territory, and, therefore, we experience spiritual warfare. We must always be on the alert. The enemy comes in like a flood, trying to fill us with doubt, fear, and discouragement. He tries to bring division in our relationships. But our God always has victory when we trust in Him and walk in His peace.
If we want to be healers and helpers in battle, we must be clad in His armor. We must have a strategy to rescue those taken hostage or left wounded on the battlefield. We must understand the seriousness of war.
How can we walk in victory and maintain peace right in the midst of personal, and sometimes unrelenting, spiritual warfare? How can we be joyful in war?
Ways to Maintain Peace in Spiritual Warfare
"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness" - (James 3:17-18).
It is possible to walk in a level of joy and peace even when things on earth seem to be getting worse. We can bring peace wherever we go. Here are some ways:
We are not going to retreat or depart because of enemy pressure, but we are going to go on from glory to glory to victory! God's grace is sufficient. We resist the enemy, stand firm in the Lord, and do not give way. We carefully maintain peace in our relationships. We worship and praise God right in the middle of the difficulty. Satan will not give us territory without a fight. We are taking ground in heavenly places, even if we do not see it. We must not relax our vigilance. It doesn't mean that we are frantic, nervous and anxious. We walk in that supernatural peace and joy that is possible only as we abide in Him.
This is the amazing truth of the Christian life as we enter into the harvest in the nations. We are living a life that is not of our own strength. Let's get comfortable with a life of dependence on God; loving Him totally, standing firmly on His Word, and walking in His peace.
Times of Testing in Warfare
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand" (Ephesians 6:10-13).
When we were going through months of endurance and spiritual warfare on our missionary ship where the trials seemed endless and without any let-up, I would go out on deck during a voyage (feeling seasick and tired), put on my headphones, and worship God for a period of time. We are now visiting Virginia Beach, the city where we previously lived. I would do the same thing here. Before long, the clouds in my own mind and heart would clear, I would see light on the horizon, and my perspective would change.
You may be in a time of testing. The devil will always try to steal your hope. But God gives us hope when we spend time with Him. He would give me hope again and again at sea; hope that He would finally break through, hope that the seas would one day be calm again, and hope that God would turn my very trial into something supernatural and good.
When we are in the midst of a difficulty, we can handle it God's way and with His peace. The enemy brings in discouraging thoughts, false reasoning, doubts and disappointments. He tries to steal our peace. But if we choose to worship Him and grow intimate with Jesus, then the clouds will begin to lift as we persevere. The perseverance is all part of the testing time. We are being stretched. It's part of the package of how God plans to train and work through us, bringing maturity and victory.
Let's thank God for every day that He has to stretch us. He is developing spiritual muscles that we would never have had before, and it is so worth it. It is all part of love even when we don't feel it at the time. God loves you. This is why He is permitting whatever trial you may be facing. It is for your good (Romans 8:28). He is making you a worker of great stature and purpose, and you shall not be disappointed. See your circumstances from His perspective, and let His peace rule in your heart. It will all be worth it!
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful" (Colossians 3:15).