The Power of Peace
Friends, I want to tell you right now that without doubt the foremost condition of every Christian at all times should be peace. This peace is independent of circumstances. I can hear you say, “Wait a minute pastor, life has its demands and pressures; we can’t be in peace all the time?” Yes, my friend, we can because it supernaturally abides within us. Peace is a gift that Christ gave us and peace is also our umpire in decision making. The Apostle Paul wrote about this issue to the church at Colossae. This supernatural peace should rule and reign inside us.
“15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts (deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state) to which as (members of Christ’s) one body you were also called (to live). And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]” – Colossians 3:15 (AMP).
We should not however confuse this peace with a fleeting emotion that comes and goes; it is an abiding peace because it is not only a fruit of the Holy Spirit but an attribute of the Kingdom of God. In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul defines the kingdom of God and its attributes, “17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.“ – Romans 14:17.
Righteousness and Joy
Think of righteousness and joy as bookends with peace slotted in the middle. As we attain righteousness with God as a function of our salvation, we are then able to receive ‘abiding peace’ within our hearts and from that peace, joy bubbles forth. Our peace is despite the circumstances. It is not contingent upon outcomes because it’s a supernatural influence that comes from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. I had recently gotten into the ‘molly grubs”, even though things seemed to be working out for good in my life, I had a heavy heart. I seemed to be in “endurance mode”, rather than appreciating the joy of life in the day to day. I had lost peace, and it was my fault, why? Because Jesus had already given peace to me, “27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” – (John 14:27).
Notice the onus is on us to steward the peace that Jesus bestowed; we are the ones who have the choice to let ourselves be ‘troubled’ or ‘afraid’. My old mentor, Ann Vincent would always say to me “If you’ve lost your peace, you’ve messed up somewhere”. She was a powerful woman of God who moved in a strong anointing that seemingly never waned. Her secret? Peace. She oozed peace every time I was with her. Ann demonstrated abundant peace in her life and she is a great example to us all. She also moved in the power of God. Peace and power go hand in hand; they are twins. If we get out of peace, we get into the ‘flesh’ and we lose faith in God’s power because faith works by love (Gal 5:6). Did you know that Jesus commanded the disciples to bring peace to the houses they visited? The presence of God brings peace and the disciples were paragons of peace, distributing it wherever they went, the scripture makes it clear, “And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you” – Matthew 10:13.
Anxiety: Abstract Fear or Apprehension
The Holy Spirit revealed to me that as time had passed, I had allowed anxiety to creep in. Anxiety is an interesting word because by definition it’s an abnormal feeling of fear or apprehension but not necessarily tied to anything specific. It can be hard to fight against because it’s a more generic ongoing condition that is felt. The problem is if we meditate on this feeling of dread or fear concerning the future we may start believing that something ‘bad’ is going to happen. The very fact that you meditate on this over and over could cause it to become a reality in your life. Living in regret or worrying about the future will always rob us from the ‘now’. What time is it? The time is ‘now’. The time is always now. “Now faith is” (Hebrews 11:1). Replaying the sorrows of yesterday and dreading what’s to come; will put you in a place of misery and misery my friend is not a place where Christians should be. Misery and fear have torment; that is Satan’s territory, get out of it immediately.
There is a fascinating statement that Christ made in Matthew 6:31, “31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” Did you catch that? Jesus said you take a thought…by saying it. Once you start verbalizing what is in your mind, you are ‘taking the thought’. Not every thought is from the devil of course, we rationalize in our minds daily as we muse over decisions, but it is the penetrating or interjecting thought that is either from God or Satan. The easiest way to discern the thought’s origin is to compare it to the word of God. If it’s accusatory in nature or discouraging it’s not from God. Guard your mind! Satan is not in the encouragement business (1st Peter 5:8). So what do we do to restore peace? Firstly, we must cast our care, “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully” – 1st Peter 5:7 (AMP). We need to get into the habit of saying, “I couldn’t care less, God is taking care of everything in my life and He is trustworthy!” Let go of your anxiety, cast your care, pray and thank Him for the answer, it’s that simple. This scripture sums it all up…“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” – Philippians 4:6 (NASB).
Friends, it’s time to get your peace back! What are you waiting for? Spend time with the Holy Spirit today and take back what the enemy has stolen. Peace is not something to look for, it’s always inside of you, it’s time to reconnect with the tranquility in your heart (that Christ won for you), cast your care and feel the peace of the Lord once again!
|Senior Pastor Carl Joseph desires to see God move in power in the downtown Denver area. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Amy. In his spare time, he rides his motorcycle and plays golf.|