It is exciting to have this blog up. I hope you will enjoy the read. Here is a snippet from a blog post I wrote last year: “There cannot be peace if a war has not been fought. Taking the case of David as an example; Israel before and during the time of David was constantly involved in wars. David in particular started fighting from the time he was a young boy acting as a shepherd by killing a lion and a bear that came to plunder the sheep. He was then able to kill Goliath when all the men in the town were shaking out of fear of the great giant. Further down in his rule, David eliminated all his enemies that meant to do him harm. He was a man of valor; a man of war. In fact, he spilled so much blood that God did not allow him to build the temple. Solomon his son was tasked with that work. However, all the fighting war not in vain. It is important to note that during Solomon’s reign, there was peace throughout the kingdom. This peace was as a result of the fighting that David, his father, had been involved in. Practically everyone wants to be successful and live in peace in a good home, able to provide for their livelihood… and this begs the question, what are they doing to get there?”
“Anywhere you desire peace, you must be ready to fight. Peace is a sign of a man who has mastered how to fight” – Prophete Joel Lutuka
When you come to the realization that you will only have peace when you win some battles, then you will fight with all that you have. 1st and 2nd Kings is filled with stories of how different Kings went to war against their enemies either to conquer land or to avoid being taken as slaves to foreign lands. The art of war had to be mastered by every King starting with Saul. It involved preparation, strategy and good leadership. The King’s mastery of war and the capability of his army determined the security of his kingdom.
As children of God we have the power to influence our environment but you can only influence your environment when you are able to analyze and understand its atmosphere. It is from the understanding of how the present atmosphere can be manipulated that you will make steps that can lead to any meaningful change. The same mindset has to be used in battle. Failure to know the enemy that you are fighting will result in defeat. Failure to know what moves the enemy is capable of will render you useless and you will die on the battlefield or leave it totally shattered.
The common misconception among Christians is that it is wrong to fight. Do not be deceived. Fighting is the only way that you can remain whole. You have to fight to not loose your principes in the midst of a corrupt world. You are in foreign territory; you are only on earth for a short period of time and the enemy wants you to believe that life on earth is all there is thus it will not matter how you live it. This is far from the truth as how you lead your life here on earth determines where you will spend your eternity. When you just allow life to pass you by then you will lose out on the plan that God laid down for your eternity. Ephesians 6:12 clearly states: “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Spiritual battles are won in the spiritual realm and we get into the spiritual realm by mastering the art of prayer. Below is Timothy Keller’s take on how we should gauge our level of prayer and communion with God.
TIMOTHY KELLER ON BIBLE READING AND PRAYER
“I often ask Christians to evaluate their situation with regard to prayer by using a metaphor. Imagine that your soul is a boat, a boat with both oars and a sail. In this case here are four questions:
1. Are you “sailing”?
Sailing means you are living the Christian life with the wind at your back. God is real to your heart. You often feel his love. You see prayers being answered. When studying the Bible, you regularly see remarkable things and you sense him speaking to you. You sense people around you being influenced by the Spirit through you.
2. Are you “rowing”?
Rowing means you are finding prayer and Bible reading to be more a duty than a delight. God often (though not always) seems distant, and the sense of his presence is fairly rare. You don’t see many of your prayers being answered. You may be struggling with doubts about God and yourself. Yet despite all this, you refuse self-pity or the self-righteous pride that assumes you know better than God how your life should go. You continue to read the Bible and pray regularly, you attend worship and reach out and serve people despite the inner spiritual dryness.
3. Are you “drifting”?
Drifting means that you are experiencing all the conditions of rowing—spiritual dryness and difficulties in life. But in response, instead of rowing, you are letting yourself drift. You don’t feel like approaching and obeying God, so you don’t pray or read. You give in to the self-centeredness that naturally comes when you feel sorry for yourself, and you drift into self-indulgent behaviors to comfort yourself, whether it be escape eating and sleeping, sexual practices, or whatever else.
4. Are you “sinking”?
Eventually your boat, your soul, will drift away from the shipping lanes, as it were—and truly lose any forward motion in the Christian life. The numbness of heart can become hardness because you give in to thoughts of self-pity and resentment. If some major difficulty or trouble were to come into your life, it would be possible to abandon your faith and identity as a Christian altogether.
In this metaphor we see that there are some things we are responsible for, such as using the means of grace—the Bible, prayer, and church participation—in a disciplined way. There are many other things we do not have much control over—such as how well the circumstances in our lives are going as well as our emotions. If you pray, worship, and obey despite negative circumstances and feelings, you won’t be drifting, and when the winds come up again, you will move ahead swiftly. On the other hand, if you do not apply the means of grace, you will at best be drifting, and if storms come into your life, you might be in danger of sinking. In any case—pray no matter what. Praying is rowing, and sometimes it is like rowing in the dark—you won’t feel that you are making any progress at all. Yet you are, and when the winds rise again, and they surely will, you will sail again before them.”
Finally, Colossians 1:20b illustrates how Jesus took the ultimate step to bring us peace “…by making peace through his blood shed on the cross.” Jesus paid the ultimate cost for our salvation by shedding his blood. It is up to us to learn how to apply the grace that He made available for the attainment of peace.