Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil… 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Is 26:3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.
October is scary movie season. As a kid I spent a lot of Saturdays watching Creature Feature movies. I loved the classic psychological thrillers. Honestly I liked the old fashioned monster movies as well. I was so excited to introduce my kids to the Creature from the Black lagoon and the Blob. Somehow they weren’t so impressed. The approach has changed but there is something in the human heart that is drawn to scary stories. Something in us likes to be started and frightened for our entertainment.
Real life is a different story though! Fear can be fun in a movie theater or Halloween haunted house. But not in real life. Real fear in real life drives us to fork over the bucks for insurance and security devices. Fear leads to paralysis and panic. Fear makes us withdraw and worry. Sometimes is hits us with sudden intense emotions. Other times it is a low grade worry. It almost always holds us back. For followers of Christ too often it keeps us from moving forward in our walk with Him. God’s enemy uses fear to keep us from living the full abundant life Jesus calls us to experience.
We need to Recognize Fear & Worry as Key Weapons of Spiritual War.
Satan schemes to choke us out with fear & worry. In a parable Jesus describes worry as weeds that choke out the good seed God seeks to plant in our lives. Faith begins to sprout, but worry rises and chokes it out!
Fear causes us to make bad decisions, to lose our courage, focus or sense of reality. Through worry & fear, Hitler rose to power. This weapon also disrupts peace in our relationships. This lack of true inner peace drives us to stiff arm others in ways that hurt our chance of harmony and wholeness with them.
Worry is low grade fear that doubts God’s care or strength for us. It is a pollution of faith. It fertilizes doubt and distracts us from our true hope in Jesus. It causes us to lose our footing. It sets us up for a fall. It doesn’t have to be like that.
Rest in the Ultimate Peace Jesus’ Cross Brings.
Rom 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Mark 4:40 And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
It seems contradictory for God to tell us to dress for battle by preparing our feet with the gospel of peace. Peace seems incompatible with war. Biblically however, we cannot stand firm in war without soul deep peace. This peace calms the storm in our hearts so we can face the storms of the world with a clear head.
This peace means standing firm in the face of the enemy or uncertainty. It is an inner calm and tranquility, a clear-headed confidence. Peace with God is the source of our peace with others. Peace comes from confident faith in Christ.
The gospel is the foundation of true peace. Jesus is the prince of peace. His cross makes ultimate peace possible. Peace with God settles our hearts so that we can be at peace with others. When we are securely loved. We are free to love others… even those most difficult to love! In Christ, we have nothing to fear. The key is to continually, intentionally remember our security in Jesus.
What fears keep coming up for you? Keeps you up at night? Paralyzes your heart in the day? What low grade worries drive your work, decisions, approach to relationships. What are you afraid of? Why not release your fear to Jesus to settle your heart in His peace?
Ps 56:11 In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Phil 4:7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Recognize & name your fear. Release your fear to Jesus through intentional prayer. Stand Firm in Life’s Battles by Anchoring your Heart in Christ’s Peace.
To catch the whole lesson go to www.parkviewfamily.com. Even better, join us this weekend at 9 or 10:45 to experience God’s life changing presence and take in the next part of the lesson.