You don’t get to choose your family. I can clearly see this truth in my daughters. When my youngest daughter was born, she was born into an already established family with a built-in big sister who didn’t like her much at first! Now, they love each other. They fight like sisters naturally do, yes. But they miss each other desperately when they’re apart.
As we grow older, our families become more complicated. We gain more and more extended family members, and people go through “phases” of life that can sometimes be not so pleasant to witness or endure. Unfortunately, tragedy can strike, bad decisions are occasionally made, and feelings are sometimes hurt. So what then? How do we handle these things as a family? How do we keep peace as Christians? Continue Reading
Do you ever feel like your days are non-stop go, go, go until bed time? Oh my goodness! How I feel this way on most days! We have our to-do lists that are a mile long. House cleaning, cooking, homeschooling, kids’ activities, family time… we all have our “stuff” that keeps us busy. But is this the way God intended for us to live our lives? Continue Reading
My life before children was rather quiet. Calm. Peaceful. Sure, at the time I would have said that I was busy and things were chaotic. But I had NO CLUE what I was in for when I had two little girls 19 months apart. My life was suddenly much different. One baby was easy compared to two… I loved these little human beings more than anything. But how was I going to survive raising little ones?!
Marriage is bound to have moments of unrest. It doesn’t take long after the wedding day to figure out that marriage can have its difficulties. It’s inevitable for every couple to disagree or argue. But what if I told you that peace was indeed possible in your marriage? Continue Reading
One thing we all have in common as human beings is our desire for happiness. Sure, we may go about it differently. Some of us try to find it in relationships, while others look to a career or financial security to provide happiness. Either way, we all want to be happy. But did you know that peace and joy go hand-in-hand? Think about it this way. If you are uneasy or stressed it is much harder to be truly happy. More often than not, joy and contentment work together in our lives. Continue Reading
If I were to ask you what it takes to accomplish your destiny, what would you say? What first comes to mind? Hard work. Dedication. A plan of action. What about peace? Does peace even come to mind? Probably not. But the truth is that God’s peace is an essential part of walking in our God-given identities. And if you’re not walking in your true identity, accomplishing much for the Kingdom will be extremely difficult… if not impossible. Continue Reading
Do you long to experience God’s peace? I think it’s safe to say that we all desire peace in our lives… but peace beyond understanding is something entirely different. God’s peace is beyond understanding because the world can’t understand how we can be at peace in the middle of a storm. And let’s face it. Storms happen. There’s no such thing as a life without hardships and struggles. So when God promises us peace in the midst of these trials, it’s a promise that seems almost too good to be true. Continue Reading
In Ephesians 6, Paul gives us a list of armor that all believers are called to wear when preparing for spiritual battle. He uses traditional pieces of armor as a way to illustrate how we are to arm ourselves as Christians against the enemy. This list includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.
He concludes his list with the following verse:
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. – Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)
Every warrior knows that in order to succeed in battle, one must be prepared both offensively and defensively. Without one or the other, we are doomed to failure. At first glance, the armor of God is all about defense. We do, however, have one offensive weapon – the sword of the Spirit.
The Word of God is our sword – our only offensive weapon against the enemy.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul presented a metaphor that would shape the way Christians view spiritual battle – the act of putting on spiritual armor. Ephesians 6:17 tells us to put on the helmet of salvation. The helmet is often the final piece of armor a soldier puts on before marching out into battle. Yet without it, the rest of the armor seems somewhat pointless. If your head is unprotected, it will only be a matter of time before the enemy takes you down.
When it comes to armor, the shield is an extremely vital piece – something I definitely wouldn’t want to go into battle without. Sure, I may be wearing body armor, but it’s my shield that allows me to protect the most vulnerable parts of me. I can maneuver it to guard me from all angles. And while my body armor can prevent me from being injured in an attack, my shield can keep me from getting hit in the first place.
What do shoes and peace have in common? Not much on the surface. Yet Paul tells Christians in Ephesians 6 to wear “shoes of peace” as part of our spiritual armor. (Ephesian 6:15)
When it comes to armor in general, the term “peace” doesn’t usually spring to mind. After all, armor is generally worn during times of war – not times of peace. So why would Paul tell us to wear peace when facing the enemy in warfare?
The breastplate is an extremely important piece of armor. It protects our heart and other vital organs. So when Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 to put on the breastplate of righteousness, he was indicating the importance of righteousness in our lives.
Righteousness can’t be earned. Our own attempts to be righteous will always fail. In Christ, righteousness is granted to us as believers because of our faith.
Paul tells believers in Ephesians 6 to wear the belt of truth. In our culture, however, truth is relative. Your truth and my truth can completely contradict one another. Not only is this type of thinking considered okay, it is actually encouraged. Our culture even has a polite, socially acceptable word for it – tolerance.
Growing up in the church, I have been taught numerous times about the armor of God. In the book of Ephesians, Paul warns believers to be prepared for battle. He lays out a detailed list of armor that we as Christians should “put on” as we prepare for war. As a kid, I understood the mental image, but I never fully understood what this armor meant until I was older and faced the battle in a very real way.