Last night I had the strangest dream…
I was in the middle of an exhausting, frantic, overwhelming hide-and-seek pursuit. Someone was chasing me, trying to capture me, and I was doing everything in my power to escape.
I would run, and then hide for a moment in whatever shelter I could find, taking a moment to breathe. Then the chase would begin again as I was discovered. This seemed to go on and on, until I felt ragged and worn.
Then I came upon a room, filled with pleasant colors and a sense of calm, and I entered it. It turned out it was a refuge from the Lord, and the pursuer could not enter the room. There were two words I saw in the room- Joy, and Peace. And I knew that once I left the room, if I armed myself with those two things, I could not be captured or even pursued any longer by whatever evil that was after me.
Relief washed over me when I finally woke up. I felt spent from that dream! When I saw the alarm clock I knew I had a few more hours to sleep, and sure felt like I needed it! How can a dream make you so tired?
It has certainly left me reflecting on being armed with God’s Peace and Joy. These two things are a result of being in relationship with God and filled with the “fruit”, or benefits, of His Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
These are things that we cannot achieve on our own, but receive as gifts from God when we are in relationship with Him. If you feel like you are lacking in an area that is described in those verses, ask the Lord to fill you with the fruit that you need in your life. As 2 Corinthians 9:8 says “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Having all you need.
I am also reminded about how we are instructed to put on the armor of God:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Remaining in the Word of God, remaining in prayer, and being continually filled with the Spirit are key in putting on our armor.
I have days where I can clearly see cracks in my armor because I am not repairing it with the Word or prayer. Thankfully God is gracious and when I seek Him, He restores me.
Be encouraged that we have the armor and weapons we need to fight, and that the Spirit fills us with ALL that we need at all times!