Jehovah ShalomThe Father is the God of Peace Judges 6:24
The Son is our Peace John 14:27
The Holy Spirit produces the fruit of Peace Galatians 5:22
Peace-a five letter priceless word. Peace the inner desire of all humans. The good, the bad, the thief or the murder all long for peace. Even animals seek quiet places. Sadly most people do not have peace and do not know how to obtain peace. Many people predicate their peace on circumstances. Fortunately Christians are guaranteed peace! Yes, guaranteed and it's free. I like free. How about you?
Peace received through Christ is appropriated by the believers faith. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect (peace, peace), whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusted in thee." Phil. 4. Present day circumstances demand Christians stop being weak-kneed and powerless in the face of adverse situations. Through home loss, job issues, general monetary woes, relationship strain, health concerns, etc.., Christians cannot/must not become fretful and weak when pressed. We must remain peaceful.
We can have the peace that "passeth all understanding." Christians can be content through whatever crisis we face daily, weekly, or longer. Let us take a look at Judges 6:1-24, John 14:1-27, and Galatians 5:1-22.
Judges chapter 6 is a passage that mirrors present day Christian life/circumstances. The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. The Lord delivered them into the hand of Median seven years. When we see Gideon (Jerubbaal) and the Israelites in Judges, we see our current Christian state of affairs. Disobedience to the word/commandments of God has delivered Christians into the hand of the creditor, depression, sickness, anxiety and fear. Not cultivating/developing a relationship with God has caste Christians adrift on the sea of life. Add this our poor choices and we have a mess on our hands that only the word of God and obedience can mend.
This peace is appropriated by faith in the word of God. This peace is manifested when Christian faith is mixed with the word of God-Jesus. John 1:1, "In the beginning (commencement) was the word (logos) and the word was with God, and the word was God. Jesus is our word, and through this word the Holy Spirit can manifest the fruit of peace left to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In verse eleven Gideon is hiding from the Midianites harvesting wheat in a wine press instead of the threshing floor. Sound familiar? Circumstances have forced some to be employed out of their normal occupation. The Midianites, Amalekites and other Eastern people would invade the "pastures of God" (Psalm 83:12)and take all the crops. Consequently despite the hard work of the Israelites they were poor and impoverished.
How many of God's people are hiding in self built caves? The depression cave. The isolation cave. The substance abuse cave. The shopping cave. The cave of lost dreams. The television cave (Real Housewives anyone). The sex cave. To obtain the "expected end" spoken of in Jeremiah 29we must extricate ourselves from the cave.
Gideon, just like present day Christians had a spiritual past but no hope for a spiritual future. This despite being taught at home about God. Despite attending Christan schools. Despite attending church. Despite believing in God. Gideon was just going through the motions of life. Not living an abundant life.
Apostasy made Gideon question God's faithfulness, "...If the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where are all his miracles which our father told us..." The Israelites cried out (prayed) to God.
God sent a prophet to tell the people why God was upset. Gideon then had a personal spiritual encounter with the Angel of the Lord under the oak tree In Ophrah. There are four theophanic appearances in the book of Judges (2:1-5, 3:10, 6:11, 34, 10:10-16 and 13:3-25).
First, Gideon questioned the Angel of the Lord's instructions. I love leaders like Gideon and Moses. They remind me of myself. After Gideon prayed, God sent the answer. However Gideon was looking for a quick miracle to relieve his suffering. Gideon did not expect to be put to work for the miracle. He was like, "Hey God pick someone else". My tribe is small. I am the least in the tribe.
God was not buying Gideon's excuses and he will not buy ours. Why? Gideon was going in God's strength not his own. Christians can not go in "God's strength" if we do not know what the word of God says. Our strength and instructions are achieved/received via developing a flourishing relationship with God. Relationships do not grow by Easter and Christmas attendance only. Daily we must have "our time" with the Holy One.
We all know that when Gideon goes to battle he will be successfully. Why? Gideon's obedience to God's instructions for battle guarantees success. If you want guaranteed success spend time with God by reading your Bible and be obedient. Let not your heart be troubled...
(1) In what cave are you currently dwelling?
(2) What areas of your life need peace?
MEMORY VERSE: 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
God Bless until next time. Joy & Power Now!