Land of Opposites: Victory Series, Part 16 (Our Armour)

Here we were, in New Zealand. Finally. It had been a really long trip, and we found it strange to be in a country that is not only on the opposite side of the world, but also where everything else seems opposite to everything we had ever known!

Try driving on the opposite side of the road from what you're used to, for starters. Everything coming at us from the right startled us beyond belief! We were constantly reminding ourselves: "Left! Drive on the left". Easier said than done, especially when you have to make a turn! When you try to use your turn signals, for some mysterious reason the windshield wipers come on. And the opposite happens when you try to wipe the rain off of the windshield! Your turn signals come on! Who designed these rental cars, anyway? Are they trying to scare off their tourists?

For us here in the Northern hemisphere, the farther south you go, the warmer the climate becomes. But not in New Zealand! The farther south you go there, the cooler it gets! In fact, they were experiencing a draught in the northern part of New Zealand's north island that summer - which was really our winter! Even the seasons are reversed!

It was Christmastime when we visited the Kiwis (They like to be called that for some reason!), so for the first time in our lives, we celebrated Christmas in the summer. Hardly any Christmas lights decorated the local homes and Christmas trees. This puzzled us at first, until we realized that it didn't get dark until nearly 10 p.m. Somehow it just seemed wrong to look at a lightless Christmas tree through the heat of the blazing sun!

Food and gas was also different for us. The cost was double, for one thing. Canadians love complaining about high gas prices. I wonder how they would survive in Oceania!

How different my reaction to this land of opposites was to what it might have been had I gone twenty years earlier. I would have been a nut cake: "Look out! Watch where you're going! Get on the right side of the road!" "Gas is way too high! Let's walk!" Anxiety would have filled my day, and I would have missed the opportunity of a lifetime!

As it was, I faced all of these opposites with a smile, and I actually enjoyed the fact that everything was different from what I was used to. Why? Because Jesus lives in my heart, and His peace is a constant. In fact, I even wondered if New Zealand wouldn't be a good place to retire. Would you like to join us?

This is the lasting gift Jesus gave us when He returned to Heaven: "I'm leaving you well and whole. That's my parting gift to you. Peace." (John 14:27 The Message)

This is also one of the important parts of the armour provided by God: "…with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." (Eph 6:15 NIV)

Experts say that PAX Romana (Roman peace in the Roman Empire) was partially due to the thick-soled shoes that the Roman soldiers wore. These enabled them to walk over any kind of terrain in a fast and enduring way. Their boots even contained metal that permitted them to be able to keep their footing on slippery hills and uneven surfaces. I guess there is a big difference between this kind of footwear and sandals, or even worse, bare feet!

The good news that Jesus provided us with is automatically accompanied by inner peace. If we let Jesus be our peace, that peace will be ours at all times! In addition, that realization of inner peace guarantees us victory as well as fills us with adrenaline!

"I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world." (John 16:33 The Message)

"The God of peace will come down on Satan with both feet, stomping him into the dirt. Enjoy the best of Jesus!" (John 16:33 The Message)

Just like all of God's promises, peace is given to us in seed form, for the process is more important than the outcome. It can only be fully developed if we walk in that peace provided by Jesus.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest." (Matt 11:28 The Message)

Just like righteousness and truth, peace is also a person, and that person is Jesus, Christ!

The three pieces of armour that we have just covered: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of inner peace are the essentials, the constants in our life. The Roman soldiers never took these pieces of armour off, even while resting. Why should we do differently?

Driving on the left side of the road is actually quite fun. I wonder what would happen if I tried it here in Canada?

Rob Chaffart

Receive our free newsletters

The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available. 


The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.

Visit Answers2Prayer

Subscribe Here:
The Illustrator
The Nugget

Your email:

Please be aware that you will receive a confirmation message via email. Once you receive it, please click on the link mentioned in the email. If you have problems please email us.