The ladies and I at bible study have been treading around in the Fruit of the Spirit, while we splash about, we found ourselves going from knee deep – to take a deep breath here we go! We’ve looked at love, joy and this week … peace.
“Shalom!” You may hear on the streets of Jerusalem, as a greeting or as waving good-bye, the gesture stating ‘Peace unto You” in Hebrew. Meaning, prosperity to you, but not in the sense that we know today, we think prosperity, “WHAOO! I’m rich!” Prosperity is wholeness, soundness, well-being WITH God.
As a quality of God, what is peace and how do we get some! When asked of others, they all answered with pretty much the same theme, “Peace is NOT having strife, turmoil or war.” Which is true, but peace is not just what we no longer have (strife, turmoil), or the absence of something, it is what we possess.
The word Paul uses in Galatians 5:22,23 as peace is ‘eirēnē’ (a-ray-nay) This peace is the recognition and acceptance of the redeeming power and authority of Jesus in my life. In short, (in the Greek) ‘to set at one again.’ Think about the picture it paints. Something that has once been erected has toppled over. Chaos, strife, irritation even war are the results. Once it is set back, PEACE is the result; all is in its rightful place. The gap between us and the Creator of the Universe has now been bridged. Ever feel that IRRITATION – and can’t seem to identify what or why? Consider looking for what, or (may I suggest) ‘Who’ has been toppled over.
Isaiah 9:6-7 The foretelling of Peace. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” (bold emphasis mine)
The increase of peace accompanies the increase of Christ’s governing power over our lives. (read that again) Now consider Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ RULE in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Again adding emphasis) If I want peace in my heart, do I allow Jesus to RULE in my heart? He is King, yes indeed, but do I bow to Him as … King. Does my life behavior reflect my heart condition (or my words) declaring Him as King? Does He take the rightful place on the throne of my life? Do I place HIM in the very center of my circumstances? Here’s a dandy thought: We will know peace to the degree that we bow to Jesus’ authority.
In practical terms: Let’s say we put our ‘stuff’ in the middle of the room, walk around it dozens of times, call in others have them take a look at it, ask what THEY think, if we don’t like what they advise, we politely dismiss them and invite in others for another tour around our stuff. God’s way: We place it at the feet of Jesus (in the middle of the room – our lives) “What do YOU say Jesus?” And we go with what HE says. It is NOT about peaceful circumstances, it’s about the APPLIED authority of Christ. There will be times we may not have time to put it in the center and consider and pray. Ever hear that voice, you’re in a situation “OH DON’T YOU DO THAT!” Don’t you SAY that!” Do we STOP, and apply His ruling voice over us? If not heeded, you walk away and later you are unsettled? May I offer: Jesus would say, “I will minister My peace where I am in authority.” In the upset of obedience vs disobedience, His voice over our own, God doesn’t come to take sides, He comes to TAKE OVER.
How do we pray for peace? Ask Jesus to SHOW US, where something has toppled over, where we may have kicked Him off His rightful place. Once He shows us, take it and place it in the middle of the room, at His feet. Or move over, get off the throne, stop playing musical chairs and let Him back on the throne of our life. Remember, ‘Peace is like a river…’ (Is 66:12) NOT a pond, stagnant and settled. Unlike the river, that flows from the mountain top, always moving, always refreshing, always pure. “Peace like a river.” Flow Lord!
Peace, allowing Jesus the rightful place, the ruling place of our heart.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)