The path to peace

central-park-535645_640Psalm 29:11: May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!

The presence of God brings peace and that is a blessing. It brings changes within. It gives the platform for the manifestation of the power of God, who said: be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among all nations, and I will be exalted in all the earth (Psalm 46:10).

Before the Red Sea, which caused the greatest of emotional distress to the Israel, God told them: be still, the Pharaoh and his army that you see today you will see them no more (Exodus 14:13). Peace was meant to be the harbinger of their change.

Repeatedly God said to the people: fear not. When you allow fear to tie you, you are limited in the level of trust you can express to God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, to walk with God to experience God and his blessing of peace (Hebrews 11:6).

It is what makes spiritual progress possible. Paul wrote of the need for us to have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, as we move on (Ephesians 6:15).  Peace therefore is a weapon of warfare, and the means through which we trample upon snakes and scorpion, and take territory (Luke 10:19). When Joshua was appointed the leader of Israel, and about to embark on the war to take the land of Canaan, he was repeatedly told to not be afraid (Joshua 1). When the consideration of God fills our heart the fear of the devil or any other fears melt away.

Paul wrote of our need to be filled with all the fullness of God, filled with the sense of his love in all dimensions (Ephesians 3:14-20). Concentrating on the love of God, pushes out the seed of the fear which is from the devil. It was one of the poisons that the devil injected into Adam and Eve (Genesis 3). He is the one who puts man in bondage through the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).

Whatever or whoever you fear, you have given the right to dominate you. That is why we are asked to have the fear of the Lord; that is positive domination.

But there are other fears that choke us. While the fear of God also controls us, it is in the direction of what is best for us. The wrong fear limits what is possible while the fear of the Lord makes you limited in a good way, preventing you from putting your hand in the wrong pot of wrong behaviours, to pick up the wrong habit. The fear of God limits us to his will.

Jesus confessed that he was limited by the will of God. He said I have to do the work of him who has called me, the night come when no man can work (John 9:1-3). He did not come with a separate agenda. Earlier, he said to some people that he needed to be about his father’s business. But the wrong kind of fear keeps us tied to the will of the devil, the will of men, or self-will. Jesus said that we should not fear man, but fear God (Matthew 10:28). In the book of Proverbs we read: the fear of man brings a snare (Proverbs 29:25). It immobilises, paralyses initiative, it is limiting on a negative sense.

When there is peace in your mind, you can think well. The peace of God, Paul said, should dominate our heart (Philippians 4:7), guard our heart and mind. When we have peace, we are at rest in God and Jesus is the Prince of Peace. But the bible says that the heart is desperately wicked who can know it (Jeremiah 17:9)?

And at the end of time when the wrath of God is going to come upon the earth, a red horse was authorised to take peace from the earth (Revelation 6:4).

That is why the bible says here we have no abiding city (Hebrews 13:14), but like Abraham, we look for a city whose builder and maker is God. We are looking for the land of peace, the New Jerusalem. Jerusalem means city of peace; that is the city Abraham was looking for.

Being in the world we are faced with different things, but in all things we should realise that we are more that conqueror through Christ who loves us and gave his life for us, and with that, we will have peace (Romans 8:37, John 3:16).

We should always embrace the word of peace. Isaiah asked: whose report would you believe (Isaiah 53:1)? It is the word of God or the devil.

Fear is contrary to faith. While faith leads to the right decision as the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17), fear leads to the wrong decision.

When we are afraid, and it means we have lost sight of God, who should be the source of our strength and power. We should look up to him for help in all ways. The bible says: they looked up to him and their faces were enlightened and they were not put to shame (Psalm 34:5). When Adam stopped looking to God and started looking up to his wife, he made the wrong decision, he took the wrong step (Genesis 3).

When the children of Israel got into trouble in the wilderness when they complained and snakes were biting them, the solution was for Moses to make a bronze serpent put it up on a tree, and if they looked for it, they will be saved, freed from the poison and its effect (John 3:14, Numbers 21:7-9).

There is nothing logical about that. If you were there at that time and reasoned that what does a bronze serpent have to do with my healing? Then you are going to die of the poison of the snake, but when you trust the instruction given by Moses, and you look up, away from the situation, you will have a miracle.

The peace Jesus wants to give us is miracle peace. He said it is not the kind of peace that comes from the world, or anything worldly, but the peace of God that passes all understanding, unending peace (John 14:27).

Jesus said to Nicodemus that the same way Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, he also will be lifted up so that everyone one who looks at him will be saved. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and he makes available to you his miracle peace.

He changes who you are on the inside, he recalibrates your response system to situations that arises. We are meant to be steadfast immovable (1Corinthians 15:58), and not easily tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, restless (Ephesians 4:14). We are changed into the very image of the prince of peace. We are new creatures with the blessing of peace, subject to the influence of heaven (2Corinthians 5:17).

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