What is Peace, and How Can I Experience It?Dec 06, 2022
I asked my granddaughter, River, how she would define peace. She said, "It's not war. It's not when people are angry and fighting."
She defined peace by pointing to its' opposite. If we live more life experiencing the opposite of peace, it's easier to define it that way.
Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be called, Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9)
If you read all of Isaiah 11, you can see how he defined peace, look especially at verses 6-9.
It's a beautiful picture of wolves living with lambs, leopard's with goats, calves with young lions, and cows with bears, all culminating with the amazing visual of babies playing with cobras.
Peace, according to Isaiah was a reality where the most unlikely creatures interact with each other without any fear of danger.
As I contemplated these verses, I came up with this:
Peace is a sense of confidence in what God promised--even though He is yet to fulfill it. It's knowing that no matter what happens to me--it can't overwhelm or topple or diminish His presence in me.
Peace is hope--hoping so well, [in God], that my spirit is at rest in the "now" regardless of what just happened or what might happen next.
Peace is good...rest-FULL.
Then, my spirit heard, "at ease, soldier!" And I visualized the soldier eager to please his ranking officer--doing everything just as he has been trained to do it; and being careful to stay inside the dictated parameters of his position. But, then, when told to be "at ease," he steps away from the rules that defined him as a soldier, and instead begins to relate to the ranking officer in a personal manner...perhaps he is his father.
To have peace with God is to step out of a place of confusion, rebellion and chaos, and back into His loving and open arms.
To have peace with God is also to step out of the rigid rules of religion, and into a casual, unguarded and intimate place where you are able to express yourself without fear of rejection.
Jesus delivered us this precious peace with God. He paved our way into this place through His sinless blood sacrificed on our behalf.
We get to have peace with God when we live in the knowledge and understanding of Jesus' extravagant gift. This is what Isaiah calls "the knowledge of the LORD" in verse 9,
"No one will harm or destroy on My entire holy mountain, for the land will be as full of the knowledge of the LORD as the sea is filled with water."
We experience peace when we allow the "knowledge of God" to permeate our hearts and our minds. We live today in what one writer called the "now and not yet." When Isaiah prophesied, the people who heard him were living in the "not yet." But because we live on the other side of the fulfillment of his prophecy recorded in Isaiah 11:1-2,
"Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him--a Spirit of wisdom, and understanding, a Spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of the Fear of the LORD."
we live in the now--the fulfillment of that promise!
Jesus has come, and with Jesus in our lives we may have peace. He offers His peace to us. His peace is a deep knowing in our inner being that no matter what we're going to be just fine because the good, good God of the Universe is holding us in the palm of His hands.
The "not yet" is still yet to come. We live on this side of the peace described in verses 6-9. This peace will come when Jesus comes again.
So, how shall we live? Trust God and Carry on...
Adrel Sanchez, who wrote the devotion I read today said it like this, "In this time of tension--between the now and not yet--God calls us to be marked by his kingdom grace, a people who pursue justice for the oppressed and spread the knowledge of Christ in our communities (Isaiah 11:9; 2 Corinthians 2:!4). It is through this knowledge that weary sinners receive the glorious rest of Christ's kingdom.
Peace is knowing, "God's Got This!"
We experience it when we live as if we believe that.
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