I love the quote “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.”
So many lay claim to it, I cannot say for sure whether it was Winston Churchill, Eric Thomas, or indeed an African Proverb. What I do know is that it is a profound truth. When there is no battle within, we are better kitted to ward off any assault from without.
Proverbs 4:23 NLT commands:
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
This is a military command because we are at war and the battlefield is in our minds and our hearts.
Our Commander in Chief, the Lord Jesus Christ, in His final salutations to the disciples before He was to face the cross left them with a “gift”, which in human wisdom, could look like the weakest strategy to prepare soldiers for battle:
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT).
They may have thought, “Thanks, Jesus! We have the Pharisees, Sadducees, Roman Soldiers, and every other opposition Satan could mobilize and you’re leaving us with ... Your peace?! How nice!”
But what the disciples soon found out, which the Apostle Paul came to emphasize in Philippians 4:1-9 is that the peace of God is the greatest defense against the assault of the enemy.
Because the devil fights us with lies about God and ourselves, in our minds, and hearts, if we do not cultivate an atmosphere of peace that allows the Spirit of Peace, the Holy Spirit, to whisper God’s truth, we will be in such turmoil that our defenses will be breached, leaving us exposed to the “fiery darts” of the enemy (Ephesians 6:16).
Proverbs 25:28 warns us that, “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28 NKJV)
We need to maintain God’s peace, our defense within so that we can withstand the enemy’s attacks from outside.
This is what the full armor of God is about (Ephesians 6:10-18).
As soldiers in a spiritual war, we do not fight people and the circumstances we see, we fight spiritual powers with spiritual weapons and strategy (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
The Peace of God is our greatest strategy of defense.
No matter what “enemy” comes from outside; whether it be “sickness”, “poverty”, “joblessness”, “failure”, “discord”, racism”, “stagnation, “loss”, “disappointment”, no matter what it is called, the Apostle Paul tells us our best defense is:
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! [...]
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7)
A few verses earlier we see the Apostle Paul admonishing sisters in the Lord to settle their differences in the Lord. He was in effect telling them to settle things in God’s Peace, within, so that no offense tousled, whether against each other or any other, can take root (Philippians 4:2,3).
He also shows us how:
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”(Philippians 4:8,9 NLT).
Our battle is spiritual, therefore our weapons must be spiritual. We cannot judge by what we see or hear, we must see the real enemy behind what our five sense relay (Isaiah 11:3). This way, we can defend our hearts and minds with God’s peace and fight back with the sword of the spirit - God’s unfailing word that always delivers what He promised when we seize it by faith (Isaiah 55:8-11, Hebrews 4:12, 1 John 4:4).
P31 Womanaire, may we “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!” (Ephesians 6:10).
Father, I thank You for Your unfailing love, presence, and provision for me. You did not leave me in this world as an orphan. You gave me Your Son to make a way for me to live victoriously right here on earth and, You poured out Your Spirit in my heart who helps me with strategy to win battles daily.
Please help me stay in the Word and in prayer and meditation on Your truth about every condition and situation both in my life and the world around me.
Today, I give all my cares to You knowing that You care for me and all that concerns me. And I guard my heart against thinking, feeling, listening to, or engaging in anything that can rob me of Your peace.
Help me remember to always choose joy and to come back to this place of peace and safety in You. And use me as Your agent of peace to seize territory for the Kingdom of God. In Jesus’ Name, I pray, receive, and celebrate your peace. Amen!