From the Sidelines to the Seat
Have you ever felt a shrug of heart, you know that ‘Blah’ feeling, perhaps leading to anxiety or even agitation? The only way to put it into words is ‘I’m off, just… off.’ May I offer – something may have shifted – shifted from the sidelines to the seat; something/someone is now sitting on the throne of our heart, pretty weighty isn’t it! This, my dear friend, is found deep in the factory setting in the design of man, a component known as the Peace Barometer. (Ok, maybe not – but that is what I call it). Peace.
In the Old Testament, (Hebrew) the word for peace is shalom, (in short) meaning tranquility, harmony, wholeness. It has been referred to as evidence of the absence of strife or war. I would define peace not necessarily in what you do not have, but what you do have. In the New Testament, the word for peace (in Greek) is eirene, which literally means ‘to set at one.’ The picture is something that was once set in place has either been removed or toppled over – (think of the game Jenga, remove foundational pieces & over it goes) chaos, strife, irritation even war are the results. Once it is set back in place, PEACE reigns.
Here’s a brief (VERY brief) explanation: Remember God and man (and Eve) in the Garden, their relationship was good and whole (peace-filled). Then there was a sin outbreak, the relationship was broken, toppled over. For generations (begetting) generations there was a missing element – what was, is no longer. Later Isaiah speaks of the coming of the Prince of Peace and the government resting on His shoulders (9:6). Fast forward to Luke chapter 2, the angels announce, “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace…” (v14). Peace was back on earth among man. Jesus is the missing piece, He came bridging the gap (which was big & ugly) between man and his God – He set it all back in place, God the Father planned it, God the Son accomplished it, God the Holy Spirit applied it, the God package delivered – PEACE REIGNS.
Paul writes, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” (Col. 3:15) Here’s where the peace barometer comes in: If God is not ruling on the throne of our heart, be assured another will occupy it! We will know peace to the degree that we YIELD to Christ, the Prince of Peace, if NOT – chaos, strife, irritation. Paul again, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, PRESENT YOUR REQUESTS TO GOD, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts & minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7, emphasis mine) ‘Present your requests to God’ (KEY!) We are NOT to go looking for solutions elsewhere, if we do, we can potentially be placing things on the throne that shouldn’t be there, (thus the ‘off’ feeling). Our peace barometer will TILT if Jesus is not the center of our life, the One residing and reigning on the throne of our heart. Peace is not about peaceful circumstances, it’s about the applied authority of Christ. Let’s cut to the chase: God doesn’t come to take sides (help sort our stuff) He comes to TAKE OVER. It is His design, His throne.
“May God Himself, the God (of Peace) who makes everything holy and whole, make YOU holy and whole, put you together – spirit, soul, and body.” (1 Thess. 5:23 The Message) God the Maker – God at the center – God on the throne.
Taking inventory of my heart. Peace.
*This is an excerpt from my teaching at our local women’s Bible Study.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)