Again, I am not talking about the peace of God or the peace we have with God – those are going to last forever. If you are born again, there is never a moment that you do not have peace with God -it will never run out and never end.
No, I mean in this life you will never have long unbroken seasons of peace and ease if you are extending the kingdom. You will get some, but you need to make sure you use some of that time to prepare for war.
Look at 1 Kings 20:
22 Afterward the prophet said to King Ahab, “Get ready for another attack. Begin making plans now, for the king of Aram will come back next spring.”
23 After their defeat, Ben-hadad’s officers said to him, “The Israelite gods are gods of the hills; that is why they won. But we can beat them easily on the plains. 24 Only this time replace the kings with field commanders! 25 Recruit another army like the one you lost. Give us the same number of horses, chariots, and men, and we will fight against them on the plains. There’s no doubt that we will beat them.” So King Ben-hadad did as they suggested.
26 The following spring he called up the Aramean army and marched out against Israel, this time at Aphek. 27 Israel then mustered its army, set up supply lines, and marched out for battle. But the Israelite army looked like two little flocks of goats in comparison to the vast Aramean forces that filled the countryside!
28 Then the man of God went to the king of Israel and said, “This is what the Lord says: The Arameans have said, ‘The Lord is a god of the hills and not of the plains.’ So I will defeat this vast army for you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
Ahab was in a time of peace, but the prophet came to him and said “Get ready for another attack” and within a year another huge attack came. That prophetic word – get ready for another attack – needs to be one we all take seriously. I am not saying start naming and claiming attacks or persecution, I am not saying become a doom and gloom merchant. I am saying – you will be attacked again, do not get complacent.
If you have a ministry, a church, friends, a family, money, a business – and it is reflecting the glory of God on earth, satan hates it. And you need to be aware he wants to do it harm. One of the reasons Hitler was so successful in murdering millions of people is that no-one was combat ready. Everyone was expecting peace after WWI, so the idea that something worse would happen was not on anyone’s mind. People were not ready, so they were vulnerable.
Germany was reseatching weapons, Poland was enjoying peace. It should have also been preparing weapons. The Polish army send cavalry out to fight tanks! Men on horseback! They lost that fight really quickly. You need to be prepared for evil to come! You need to be ready. Take care you do not fall.
Prepare for war, the devil is ridiculously wicked and evil, and he is defeated, but you still have to make sure you ar not one of the people he can devour. The large churches in London are the story of pastors not ready for combat – pastors put in jail, pastors divorced, pastors having homosexual affairs. Satan hates churches in London – do not think Tree will not be slandered and lied about, do not think our key leaders will not be tempted in different ways. Let’s be ready for war! Let’s prepare in peacetime by feeding on the Word, sharpening the sword of the Spirit and getting ready for a remarkable victory.
Grace and peace! And victory!