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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Peace of or Peace with

God, you give true peace to people who depend on you, to those who trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3 ERV)

We can often overlook the simple truth of God's peace in our lives, that is until it is disturbed by negative circumstances! Once the tough stuff comes into play in our lives, we sometimes freak out a bit because we don't know what to do - the going is getting tough, but we don't find ourselves as tough as might be needed to get going! The awesomeness of God's peace is that it is a gift - it isn't earned or somehow "acquired". It is truly given when and where we need it, but there are definitely forces working against us to keep us from experiencing the depth of that peace as much as he would like us to in giving it to us.

The peace of God is different than finding peace with God. We find peace with God through Christ Jesus, accepting the finished work of the cross for our sinful nature, and then actively seeking to obey his Word. The peace of God comes as a result of that restored relationship with our Creator. Scripture reminds us, "Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have.  And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds." (Philippians 4:6-7 ERV) It is because we belong to Christ that we have God's peace "standing guard" over our thoughts, feelings, and helping to guide our actions. 


Any action which disturbs that peace can then be defined as an action that moves us away from the direction God would like for each of us to be consistently heading - toward him. These are actions he'd like us to avoid, or stop engaging in. They are not going to help us walk in his peace and will keep us under the oppressive force of "disturbed peace". Edwin Louis Cole reminds us, "Peace is the umpire for doing the will of God." As an "umpire", it reigns over our hearts, keeping us steadily on course, calling for us to take a "time out" on occasion to "regroup", and often has to arbitrate between the actions we choose. When we lose God's peace, or don't listen to that niggling voice within, we might not realize it at first, but the loss of that peace allows for an undermining of destructive forces to be at work within our lives.

We need to guard our hearts against destructive forces at work to keep us from enjoying God's peace. Every action contrary to that peace must be resisted. It is a good thing God doesn't expect us to do this on our own, though, because each of us would be in a muddle if he did! God's gift is to continually renew our sense of peace, but it is our part to seek him in all things. Then we shall have his peace as our guide, umpiring our lives and helping us to resist certain actions which actually disturb that peace. Just sayin!