Bring this truth with you into 2017. When we are in Christ, we wage war from a position of power and a posture of peace. We have the high ground. Let me explain.
Living in northwest Iowa, you never really know what you are going to get for weather on Christmas. We’ve played football in the yard and we’ve braved waist-high snow drifts on foot because roads were impassable. We’ve had idyllic sleigh rides and white-out blizzards. This year the temperatures were fine, but the day brought an unpleasant rain and high winds. Overnight the winds rose to a roar, reaching the point where I was awakened by the noise. My yard has a whopping 68 trees, so a wind storm typically results in some work to clean up downed branches. On Christmas night the wind was so strong I began to worry about damage beyond the typical.
The sound of the gale kept me up for a long time and the constant howling wind began to make me feel almost claustrophobic in my own house, as if I were in a bubble under attack from the outside. I was reminded of a stormy night at sea I’ve read about in Mark 4. While Jesus and His disciples were crossing the sea in a small boat, a fierce wind blew causing the disciples to fear for their lives. Jesus was completely as peace, sleeping in the stern. Upon being awakened, He applied that peace to the circumstances around them and the disciples were amazed. Jesus was able to deliver peace because He was already in a posture of peace.
We all face storms that threaten to steal our peace, sometimes they are actual weather related storms, but usually they are other storms of life. The secret to bringing peace to your storm is found in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. In chapter 6 he reveals the source of conflict and turmoil. Ephesians 6:11-12 says this:
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Notice where Paul tells us these adversaries come from, “heavenly places.” The Christmas night wind storm is a good analogy for the effect of these spiritual hosts of wickedness, a tempest originating in the air. Of course Jesus was physically in the same boat as his panicked disciples, but spiritually He was on a completely different plane. Let’s back up a few chapters in Ephesians to see how this can help us. Ephesians 2:4-6 says this:
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
Jesus was able to bring peace to the storm because He exists on a level higher than the storm. He also exists on a level in the heavenly places higher than those spiritual hosts of wickedness. Take a look at what else Paul tells us, God has made us sit in heavenly places together with Him. That means that we also have the high ground in our conflict with the storms of life. I was physically located down here, in a house buffeted by the Christmas night wind storm, but I was able to remember that I am also seated up higher, in heavenly places where I can be at peace and bring peace amidst the storm.
Wage war from a position of power and a posture of peace, you have the high ground!