Tuesday, October 4, 2011

God is a God of Peace

Isaiah 2:1-4
When I asked the Lord where He wanted me to read today, where in His scripture He wanted me to go, He said “Isaiah”. Of course, my typical reply- “Really? Are you sure?”  So, Isaiah is where He had me land today. At first, as I was reading, I wasn’t really gleaning anything; I wasn’t really getting what He was trying to tell me. But then I came across this, “..They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
Our God is a God of peace. If there is strife, discord and anger in our lives, then something is not right with our walks. God intends and desires for His children to have peace- with Him and with everyone else.  John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled- because He leaves those that believe in Him with Peace- His peace.
Isaiah is prophesying to the nation of Israel, who has lifted themselves in pride against the Lord. All sin in our lives is stemmed from pride. Pride is what caused Lucifer to sin against God, Pride is what caused Eve to take the apple and sin against God, and Pride is what caused Adam to eat it. Pride is the root of sin in our lives, and sin is what keeps us from the peace of God in our lives.
I looked up the word peace and found this translation which I think goes along with what the Lord is teaching me today. “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is” (Strong’s Concordance) Peace ties into “gentleness”- which is a submission to the will of God in our lives. Peace is a quietness of our souls, no longer resisting God, nor His will for our lives, but acknowledging and accepting what He brings to pass, and knowing and trusting that it is all for our good. (Romans 8:28)
God does not want the brethren, His bride, dwelling in discord or having strife in their lives. He wants us to live peaceably with one another, giving up our will for the sake of others. Sounds kind of like Jesus- doesn’t it? Jesus gave up His life, His will for the sake of all mankind- and we are to be imitators of God, a likeness of Christ to a dark and hopeless world. But, our pride gets in the way so many times.
I know about struggles, trust me, I am one who struggles with the Lord continually. Even in the simple things, I have to “get my say”. But God, (I love that…But God,) Who is rich in mercy and longsuffering brings me to a place where I can no longer be- and I have to bow my heart, my will, my all to Him. Just like the Prodigal son- we have to come to the end our ourselves, recognize that the struggles we have in this life are very possibly our pride, and let the God of all rid us of it.
Now, some of you are going to say that this is not always the case, what about spiritual warfare? The darts and our adversary will come against us. I am not saying that every case is our pride. What I am saying is that if you are striving with someone, if you are not living in peace with the brethren (the body of Christ) then something in your (my) life is not lined up with God’s will. We must surrender our hearts, our minds, our souls, our bodies daily to the God and Father, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Daily means daily- moment by moment, day by day, and minute by minute. We are going to experience spiritual warfare, but too often I have attributed spiritual warfare in times where it was me that was causing the events to happen. My own loftiness and stubborn rejection of God’s will allowed these things to happen- not spiritual warfare.
I believe what the Lord is trying to say to us today is “Stop fighting and come to Me. I am a God of peace- stop fighting against me and one another, allow Me to humble you and rid you of your pride.” I believe that He is asking us to let go of ourselves, and give all to Him. Are there areas in your life today that you are struggling with? Is there peace in every area of your life? Your home, your marriage, your relationships with others, be honest- God already knows. Peace is ours if we would choose it. Instead of walking with swords to strike down those that oppose us, let us make them into plowshares, and fertilize the ground with the Word of God. Instead of using our spears to point out the issues in our churches and our nation, let’s begin to use them to “prune” the weeds by our words, and our deeds.
We say we want peace, we say we desire peace in our lives- we must be willing to submit in every area of our lives.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16
“Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11