Friday, February 18, 2011

Peace, Part III

We now return to our regularly scheduled program... Like an interrupted television broadcast, we were interrupted on our Friday series for a couple of weeks for our Valentine study. Well, I guess it was more of a love study. Now we're back at it.

Last time we were talking about the gift of Christ's peace and letting it have first place in our hearts. Letting it lead the way. Our spiritual GPS. For those just joining us, you can search at the bottom of the blog for Peace Series and it'll bring up the other two posts.

Now let's talk about why we need it.

We need all the peace available to us because we have some tough battles ahead. Psalm 34:14 tells us to "depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." Peace requires active involvement. Why?

Since the Garden of Eden we have been at odds with God. The flesh wants one thing, the Spirit wants another. Our first tendency is to self, is to run in the opposite direction from where God is heading. We're a lot like Eve. We take a bite of whatever fruit is in front of us. That's why the verse has to tell us to depart from evil--because that's where God usually finds us.

I'm not just talking about before we were Christians. We can see a thousand reasons right in front of us to be dissatisfied or afraid. There's always something going on that makes us antsy. There's always something on the horizon that would make us happier. Satan makes sure of that. We have to look for peace. We have to go after it. We have to wade through the mess of this world until we find it. Then we have to hold onto it with everything we've got.

We need to make sure we have a firm grasp on peace because we are going to need it. Take a look at Romans 16:20, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you." Did you get that? The God of peace will crush Satan. That doesn't sound very peaceable does it? But sometimes we need to confront with conflict to come to a peaceable end. The part about having the victory sounds great, but it also sounds like we're going to come into some pretty close contact if we're going to do some spiritual stomping.

Let's turn to I Peter 5, beginning at verse 6. "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world."

Did you notice the last part of Romans 16:20? It is only through His grace that we have the victory at all. On our own we have no power. On our own we "bite the apple" every time. That is why we fail when we try to take on things in our own strength. Only Christ is capable of overcoming. And He gives us victory only after we've humbled ourselves and given all our anxiety to Him.

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