Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I saw a Peanuts cartoon with Lucy saying to Charlie Brown, “I hate everything. I hate everybody. I hate the whole wide world!” Charlie says, “But I thought you had inner peace.” Lucy replies, “I do have inner peace. But I still have outer obnoxiousness”
There are times when I fail to live in the full understanding of God’s peace. He has promised that His peace will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Let’s consider the word guard.
The Greek definition says, to protect by a military guard, either to prevent hostile invasion, or to keep the inhabitants of a besieged city from flight. Think about that carefully. God’s peace provides us with two benefits:
- Total protection from hostile invasion, like worry or fear;
- Total confinement of the enemy.
Jesus said that He has accomplished both of those things on our behalf so that we can be at perfect peace. Not partial peace or temporary peace, but perfect and permanent peace. Our hearts and our minds are protected from any hostile invasion, and the enemy himself has been overcome and confined to a besieged city from which he is unable to flee.
We do not need to live like Lucy, claiming the peace of God but living in fear, worry, and disdain of the world. Peace transforms our attitudes and our actions.
Have we taken the King at His word? Maybe not. We have not always lived in perfect peace. We have not always trusted the protection of God and the conquering of the enemy. We have claimed to be at peace with God, but have not lived in the confidence that we have the peace of God. We are walking through life as a foot soldier of low rank when we have been designated by the King as officers.
The Emperor Napoleon was reviewing some troops in Paris; and while giving an order he thoughtlessly dropped the bridle upon his horse’s neck, kicking the horse into a gallop. The emperor was forced to cling to the saddle. At that moment, a common soldier of low rank sprang before the horse, seized the bridle and handed it to the emperor. “Much obliged to you, captain,” said the Emperor, and by this statement he made the soldier a captain.
The man believed the emperor, and saluting him, asked, “Of what regiment am I a captain, sire?” Napoleon was charmed with his faith, and replied, “Of my guards,” and he galloped off. As soon as the emperor left, the soldier laid down his gun, saying, “He may take it who will,” and instead of returning to his comrades, he approached the group of staff officers. On seeing him, one of the generals scornfully said, “What does that fellow want here?”
“This fellow,” replied the soldier proudly, “is a captain of the guard.”
“You, my poor friend! You are mad to say so!”
“But the Emperor said it,” replied the soldier, pointing to Napoleon, who was still in sight.
“I ask your pardon, sir,” said the general respectfully, “I was not aware of it.”
We may be sure that God gives peace by believing His Word, just as the soldier believed the word of the emperor. He may have still been wearing the uniform of a foot soldier, but in his heart and mind he was already acting like an officer. He was taking steps to bring the external into conformity with the internal.
That is what we need to do. We are at peace with God and have been given the peace of God in Christ Jesus. We are protected from hostile invasion and the enemy has been conquered. We should live like those things are true.
Lighten up! Let it go! Don’t worry! Live a life of peace!