When we think about peace, we think about it in a context of being a remedy or a solution to a problem. We ask for peace all the time; peace among family and friends, peace in our communities, peace in our schools and streets, and ever the famous phrase “Peace in the Middle East” gets used often though it is very true. We expect be to reign when there is nothing going on, however, as Jennifer Lawrence said the in the movie “X-Men: Apocalypse”; Just because there is no war, doesn’t mean there is peace. Mankind has expected mankind to bring peace into this world for a long time. Peace, based upon world history, cannot be obtained by man because there is always an agenda. I’m sure we would love peace between countries like North Korea, Iran, and Russia (perhaps one day). However, when you look at the political, economical, and social climates between us and these there really isn’t a treaty, a handshake, or a reset button that will ultimately bring peace between nations and around the world. Peace must be within the hearts and minds of man all over the world. We have been doing this dance for sometime now and to be honest it doesn’t seem like anything has worked. And just you are in the same space with a person you either know or don’t know, it doesn’t mean for a second that there is peace between the two of you.
Either by the way you look, talk, act, or walk, it feels like someone has the need to saying something about you or someone else. That in turn creates conflict which in turn creates chaos. God’s peace isn’t just external, but internal was well. But those of us that truly want God’s peace are no seeking him and when we do we are not taking the time to learn and when we learn we are not practicing it enough. If we truly want peace in every aspect of our lives and want it to reverberate around us, we must obtain it. But to obtain it, we must do the following.
Pray for Peace
The God we serve is an accessible God. We talk to our father in heaven whenever we want to. But when we want certain things from God we must understand that it needs to be done in God’s way. If there was another way of doing it, such as your way, then you wouldn’t come to God in the first place. Last week, we came across the sermon “God’s Peace” and if you recall, you needed to surrender. When you are in prayer, surrender yourself to God. All of the anxiety, wishes, and desires that are of the flesh need to die daily so that you achieve the peace hat God is willing and able to give you. You can’t achieve that piece if you are always distracted and your mind is all over the place. You don’t need to be in a church, at home, or to ask God for peace. A person that can obtain peace from God is a person that is at peace with God and themselves. Prayer is still a weapon that you can use against the enemy and a tool that you can use to communicate to your father in heaven. You must have access to peace in order to operate the peace that is in you. If you cannot tap into it, then you can never use. If you can never use it, then never find your peace. That said, begin with prayer so that it can give you access to God, whom can give you peace
Pursue your Peace
You don’t just want a “piece” of peace, you want the whole thing. You want it in every aspect of your life; both inner and outer. Paul was able to be an example that Jesus needed because he not only walked the walk but talked the talk. When we say “do as I say, not as I do” that is a person not a peace. At best, they are telling you not to follow their lead. The problem with that however is that when someone sees you in action but you say you are a child of God, people will try to match the two together and see if they fit. Your pursuit is never ending and you should spend a lifetime pursuing that peace, why? The storms that come forth are in different shapes and sizes and nobody knows how long the storm will truly last. Pursuing the peace shows a desire to go after God’s heart, pursing the peace shows a passion for seeking God’s will, pursuing the peace means that you are seeking something that man can’t give your or validate for you. But remember, in you’re pursuit, do not get distracted. Your distraction is an illusion that leads to your confusion. You can’t pursue peace if only a “piece” of you is pursuing God. Pursue peace as if you were pursuing the flesh.
Practice the Peace
Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does create a habit. If you want the peace that Paul has found, the same peace that everyone saw in Paul, you have to be willing to put it into practice all the time. Some of us carry peace with ease but that is only because we were willing to fully submit to our heavenly father. Note the fact I sad “fully” and not half way. If we as human being know one thing, we know that the more we practice, the more it becomes habit. To achieve the peace you so desire, you cannot practice every now and then and expect it to come through when you need it…no. Let me give you an example; prayer. If you want to have a deep connection with God through prayer, you can’t simply have prayer only during church services on a Sunday and expect the same communication and blessings as someone who praise not only three times a day but is able to praise his name in anywhere they go. To practice your peace enables you to get a closer connection to God, to practice your peace means that peace is always with you, and to practice your peace is to be able to show others the power of peace that comes from God.
Present the Peace of God
Our display of God generally comes with accepting, believing, and confessing that God is real. Another step in this process comes from the ordinance of Baptism – an outward display of an inward decision. When I say “present” the peace of God, in no way am I referring to putting on a show. I am referring to showing the authentic peace that God can provide you. If you remember, in the month of April, we were talking about “hope” (Colossians 1:27). The scripture says
“To them God has Chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory”
As Christians we are a reflection of the hope of Christ. We also are a reflection of that peace as well. Paul was able to show that peace to the Philippians because the peace Paul was sharing about Christ was real. Paul didn’t just wake up and said he was going to follow the teachings of Jesus, he actually lived them out. When we become equipped with the ability to share God’s word, not only must we share God’s word, we must live God’s word. When we live God’s word, the word is easier for people to understand and relate too. When you are able to embrace and live in God’s word, it becomes easier to share it without saying anything because you are a walking representation. “Practice what you Preach”, this is what critics of Christianity are telling us, but we should do just that. Many of us are willing to preach to someone but not practice it in our own lives. Even worse, many of us are not even willing to practice. We need to show the world what peace looks like through Christ. It starts with us, we must be that light for those that cannot. So again, we I speak on “present” the peace of God, I am referring to showing what Peace is through God, not through man.
Everybody wants some kind of peace in their life. The world as we know it is so chaotic today. So people feel they can’t breathe, some feel like they can’t catch a break, some feel that there is no hope for their situation, but when you obtain God’s peace, you get more than a breath, you get a lifetime supply of fresh air, when you obtain God’s peace, the current storm you are going through becomes a cool breeze on a summer day, and when you obtain God’s peace all those breaks you couldn’t catch are now blessings that are overflowing. You miss so much when there is no peace in you. And when there is no peace on the inside, it shows on the outside. The seek you seek is not the peace you need. The peace you need lies within God. When you are able to reflect what’s on the inside on the outside, you have obtained God’s peace.