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 14:27)
Over the past two weeks the single most commented on topic in the news and on social media has been the riots, looting and protesting that is taking place across the United States. Based on what we see it is as though no community is immune to the strife and discord that is happening.
Strife is certainly not a new issue in our world, it has existed in one form or another since Adam and Eve chose to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil and still continues today. The first time we saw this was brother to brother when Cain killed Able out of jealousy. Other times it has manifested in race, region, culture, religious belief, education or a thousand other ways. The central truth of all this is that humanity is broken and that if there is a way we can create division we will find it.
If we were to listen to the loudest voices we would believe that this strife today is all about race but I believe there is a different issue at the core of it all. The Apostle Peter said it like this:
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
And the Apostle Paul said it like this:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
You see our real enemy is not the person who looks different or has more education or comes from another country or culture. Our real enemy, THE ENEMY is the father of lies:
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
Satan loves hatred and discord, he works toward division and destruction. The last thing he wants to see in the middle of his riots and looting is the Followers of Christ united together as what Jesus called the Peacemakers.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)
So how do we become “Peacemakers”? In order to do this we must first recognize what peace really is. The dictionary tells us that peace is a state of tranquility, or freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts, or harmony in personal relations, or a state or period of mutual accord between governments. But when the Bible talks about peace there is much more to it. Our title today is “Palpable Peace” so what does palpable mean?
- capable of being touched or felt
- easily perceptible
- easily perceptible by the mind
I really like the first of these when we are talking about Biblical Peace. It is not just a thought or a feeling it is something very real, something that just “is”. Biblical Peace begins and ends as being a part of the character of God. When Moses asked Him for His name God replied “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”. “I AM” is fact, in truth it is THE FACT and His Peace is fact as well. Paul described it like this:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
Have you ever encountered Peace like that? It is a peace that is not affected by the situation we are in. It is a Peace that knows not fear. It is a Peace that is filled with Hope. It is the Peace of God and can be found in no other place than in Him and I am here to tell you that this Peace is not just to protect us; it can also quench the power of discord. Let us return to the rest of the Apostle Paul’s instruction about facing our enemy.
This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. (Ephesians 6:13)
Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. (Ephesians 6:14-17)
Paul is telling us to be prepared for the tricks and lies of Satan and he uses an analogy about being a warrior. Realize that there is no single piece of equipment. Most of these pieces are defensive in nature. Some are both defensive and offensive, but keeping our feet sandaled is unique. It is our feet that take us to the battle. When we put on all these pieces and when we use our feet to get to the battle; then that Palpable Peace we have been talking about will wage war with the powers of darkness. How can we make a difference? We do it when our feet carry us to the battle and when we stand firm with our full armor, not as warriors against “flesh and blood” but as warriors “against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”.
Our Peace rests not in ourselves or in the power of our government, it rests in our faith in our Father and in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Faith in the Truth of our Salvation leads to Righteousness, and when we get off our back sides and use our feet, and we allow the Spirit to spread the Gospel of Jesus it will bring the power of Peace to the world around us.