2 Chronicles 14:1-7
We all have moments of peace when we can breathe a sigh of relief and experience rest. However, rest doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing. We just don’t have the battles we face during times of war or anxiety. If we fortify and build up our defenses during times of peace, we are prepared then to maintain our peace when it is threatened. Please read 2 Chronicles 14:1-7 and see how King Asa of Judah took advantage of a time of peace in the land.
Look at verse 6, “He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace.” Verse 7 says, “’Let us build up these towns,’ he said to Judah, ‘and put walls around them, with towers gates and bars…’” King Asa realized that a time of peace was the best time to build up Judah’s defenses. Building up the country’s defenses during a time of peace would allow them to protect the country when an attack came. Even though they experienced rest, they were not idle. This is such an important lesson for us to remember. It is so easy at times of rest to become idle and our walk with God slows down to almost a halt. This time of rest is actually the time that we should build up and exercise and become prepared for whatever the world may throw at us. When the attack comes (and it will) we will be prepared to depend on God.
I want to look at how we build up and prepare during a time of rest. Please look up Ephesians 6:10-18 and read about the armor of God. We need to be spending our time of rest putting on the armor and getting ready. We need to be firm in God’s truth and be living the life that God has called us to. We are covered in Christ’s blood and have His protection from death. Our faith becomes our shield and we build our faith by spending time with God and believing Him. Our helmet is the salvation that God extends to us and our sword is the Word of God. We can spend time with God and in His Word building up our defenses. What stuck out at me was in verse 15, “and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” Please turn to Isaiah 52:7. Isn’t it interesting that God would use feet in both references to peace and uses the word readiness in Ephesians? It gives me the picture that peace is active not stationary! We do peace; we spread peace; we proclaim peace! We need to continue to promote peace at times of peace. We fortify and build peace when we spend time with God, spend time in the Word, and do what it says.
Many people picture the fruit of peace as a static feeling of goodness; perhaps even to the point of denial of the issues at hand. I pray that as we looked at peace that you have had a chance to see that just as the other fruits we have studied, peace is an action word! Peace requires strength in order to demonstrate it during difficulty. Peace with those around us requires work and maintaining peace requires active engagement.
If you are at a time of peace in your life, are you actively building on it? Are you using this time as a time of training and preparation?