Wednesday, October 22, 2014
The Spirit has a job to do, Part II
Another job that the Holy Spirit does, is to give us peace. Sounds simple, huh? But we're not talking about the kind of peace the world gives; that kind of peace isn't real, and doesn't last.
Let's dive in!
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives
do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
In the New Testament times, the normal way for folks to say "good-bye" was to say "Peace" or "shalom." Jesus was providing a wonderful legacy for His disciples, and all of us, too: My peace I give you. They would have peace with God because their sins were forgiven:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace
with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:1)
They (and we) would be guarded by His peace:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard
your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
Jesus' peace brings an end to the separation caused by sin. His "shalom" repairs the brokenness caused by our sinful selves. Nothing in the world can offer such a gift. If we get peace from the world, it's a false peace that comes from our being blind to (or ignoring) our peril. It's a false peace that comes from pride, when we think God is not necessary. The world can't give us a peace that allows us to face the stark realities of life with calmness and assurance. Even the paralyzing fear of death, and the dread of the future are removed, for we trust in Him and live and work in the Spirit. That's why we need not be troubled. That's why we have the deep and lasting peace He gives.
If our lives are full of stress, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to refill us with Christ's peace. A synonym for peaceful could be "undisturbed." Are we painfully disturbed? Are we distracted by the billows and waves of what God permits to come into our lives? Are we peaceful, content, or is the landscape that we see barren? If we are in fellowship with Him, we can turn our mind to Him, and contemplate His grace. In fact, if we are disturbed, if we are stressed, it is because we are not trusting in His mercy and grace. (Oy, that one hit home with me. I allow worries to get the best of me sometimes, and what I need to do is to trust Him.)
Many times troubles occur because we don't take the counsel of the Spirit and our Bible. Instead of first praying and seeking guidance, we act -- and then we ask God to bless our actions. We must continually learn the lesson that we are to depend on the Spirit for leadership and peace.