War & Peace, Day 23
In addition to being a novel written by Russian author, Leo Tolstoy, what other scenarios include War & Peace? What other role does war and peace play in your life? How about your marriage?
Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time for everything, including a time for war and a time for peace.
I am here to tell you this is nothing new.
You are at war, my friend.
We all are.
We live in a sinful, broken world. We are still affected by evil and brokenness.
- Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”
I’ve never been to a battlefront, at least not a physical one, but I can tell you every day I war against and on the front lines of a spiritual battle. I find that spiritual forces of darkness seem to attack me when I’m at my weakest like while I’m sleeping or in areas that should be the beautiful, but aren’t like sexual intimacy.
I suffer from insomnia. Some nights I’ll wake up and have no idea why and it’ll take me a long time to fall back asleep. Some nights I struggle to fall asleep in the first place. Some nights I’m awakened by nightmares. It’s getting better, and Adam has been praying over me before bed for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I’ll go a month without an issue. Even so, this is an area Satan likes to attack me, and it’s an area where I’m weak, because I’m not fully awake.
Lack of sleep causes issues in our marriage. It makes me cranky. It amps up my anxiety. It can cause me to spiral into depression. It can make me feel hungrier even though I’m really not. It can interrupt our intimacy. It can also keep Adam’s and my schedule from being in sync. Nineties boy band reference aside, staying in sync with one another is critical for a thriving marriage.
I also struggle with issues surrounding intimacy. I would say Adam and I have a decent intimate life together, but there are things that often disrupt – busy schedules, sleeplessness, menstrual cycles, illness, or anxiety and depression, among many other things. This is an area that we want to cultivate and desire to love one another through, but it’s hard to keep our sexual intimacy in sync also. Sometimes it feels like everything is trying to tear us apart when we just want to be together.
The war against your life, heart, soul, and marriage is real. So how do you win a war? Well, the good news is Christ has already done this for us.
- Jesus promises us in John 16:33 to take heart because He has already overcome the world.
- We don’t battle alone. Deuteronomy 20:4 tells us, “For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
- And one of my favorite Bible verses, Romans 8:38-39, brings this encouragement: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.“
Even so, there are things we will come up against in this life that require action. Remember you’re not alone. You have each other – life partners, and you have the God of the Universe fighting for you.
- Mark 10:19 reminds us, “What God has joined together, let no one separate.”
- Matthew 18:20 says, “Where two or three are gathered, I am there in the midst of them.”
- Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.“
While it may seem counter-intuitive, going to war can bring deep peace. Look at what Jesus Christ did. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, came to take on Satan and all of humanity’s sin. He came to do battle and conquer sin and death so that we would be redeemed and reunited with the Father, so that one day, this world will be made new and our bodies will one day be freed from the effects of sin.
How do you fight back? Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us,
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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Defend your peace. Protect your heart and spirit. Fight for your marriage. Isaiah 54:10 says, “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”
This is Day 23 of the 30 Dates in November Challenge 2016. Sign up here. Join us on the forums for the challenge of the day and participate in a supportive community.