Clothed Over by His Peace
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One day, years ago, when I felt anything but peace, I discovered this little verse in an old hymnal:

Shut in with Thee, far, far above

The restless world that wars below,

We seek to learn and prove They love,

Thy wisdom and Thy grace to know.

Suddenly my mind grasped a fantastic truth, and my broken spirit began to soar. "I live in the heavenlies with Jesus," my heart sang. "Nothing can disturb me here."

The comfort of this truth has never left me. Often, in the rush of the day, I remind myself that the real me is "far above" with my King. When by faith, I put on peace, He transports my soul to His high places where I view the world and its circumstances from His perspective of quiet triumph. Nothing can touch me there.

The Prince of Peace

Spiritual warfare is a constant reality. Yet peace is ours as citizens of His kingdom, for His life is our shelter. As long as I stand firm in my Prince, peace reigns. But when I shift my focus from Him to my wants and circumstances (including my own desire for peace), anxiety, guilt, fear, resentment, and confusion creep in. Quietly my Prince reminds me, "Be still and know that I am God." In a moment, my eyes are back on Him, He fills His place in the center of my heart, and peace again reigns.

In order to stand firm, I must remember that the Prince of Peace is also Truth and Righteousness to me.

First, I affirm the truth of His greatness and my own need. He is the mighty sovereign God who wisely and lovingly cares for me. He is my Warrior, my Strength, my Wisdom, and my Love. Nothing is impossible for HIM.

Next, I remember that the Prince of Peace is my righteousness. Not by my effort, but by His death, and resurrection life, I stand pure and holy before my God. Satan cannot disturb me with his accusations and lies when Jesus, my righteousness, covers me.

Coming to Him. Mary and Martha both loved Jesus. One sister drew near to Him; the other, concerned about her circumstances, became anxious and lost her peace. To her, Jesus spoke a very special message:

Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42)

Resting at the feet of Jesus - this is the life of peace. Its single focus - God! Its one desire - to know, please, and honor Him. Its solitary pursuit - to walk with Him in His purpose. All else is secondary.

Steps to peace. Jesus took the first step for me. Through the cross, He "broke down the barrier" between His holy character and my sinful nature (Ephesians 2:12-22).

The next step is mine. I believed and received Him who is my Peace. Now, when I choose to put on His garments, the Prince of Peace clothes me over, and I am filled with His peace.

The same four choices that produce a lifestyle of truth and righteousness also bring the peace that triumphs over any earthly disturbance: feeding on the peace in His Word; meditating on truths that promote peace; filtering for truths about peace; following His lifestyle of peace.

Finally, God calls me to share His work. With the privilege of enjoying His peace comes the responsibility of a peacemaker. But before I go, I must seek Him and listen to His voice. My seeking and listening continue while I work, if not by conscious thought, by an inner attitude of attentive submission to the will of God.

Any resistance to His voice or will stirs up strife and leaves me powerless against my enemies. On the other hand, when I surrender to the Prince of Peace, He fills me with His life and gives me His love-filled peace of reconciliation and rest to share with everyone in my path.

Peace with each other.

While peace (eirene) refers to the inner tranquility which flows from oneness with the King, it also means harmony and concord with others. He desires our cooperation to make this bond of peace a living, practical reality among us.

Consider these facts:

Through God's unconditional love in you, others can experience their total acceptance in Christ. He offers forgiveness, worth, a caring community, a new life.

The most persuasive proof of His accepting love is unspoken - your love and appreciation for each person, your availability, your willingness to listen and participate in another's life. When you do speak words that affirm someone's worth in Christ, be sure your action matches your words.

Differences should build unity and dependence on each other, not disharmony. Each of us, with our own pattern of strengths, weaknesses, and temperaments, carries a special fragrance of the life of Jesus. Thus we fit into each other's lives and complete the body of Jesus.

While peace (eirene) refers to the inner tranquility which flows from oneness with the King, it also means harmony and concord with others. He desires our cooperation to make this bond of peace a living, practical reality among us.

The way of a peacemaker

Jesus calls me to follow Him, to live, walk, love, and restore as He did, and to guard my heart against any hindrance to His work in and through me. Most people in my own neighborhood remain separated from Him. They are my mission field.

Jesus' ministry of reconciliation is a simple, but not a soft, way of life. It calls me to love sacrificially, lay down my life, share the suffering of others, bear their burdens, and witness the triumph of truth whether or not people will believe.

We are adequate-in Him! I must choose to depend on Him for everything - wisdom, guidance, provision, and strength. When He directs, I must follow. If I deviate from the path of faith to follow the way of self-effort, I lose my peace.

Jesus never strayed from His Father's direction and strength. He had learned, as we must, that He could "do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing" John 5:19).

His Father's work brought Him to the end of self’s resources. Likewise, my Father's work for me will gradually produce freedom from self in me. Then, as that death nears completion, I will know increasing peace and surrender in His will. For the lifeless corpse of self cannot complain, argue, disobey, or run away.

Peace reigns when I am yoked to Jesus. When the path of peace becomes steep and rocky, He points my heart to the joy that lies ahead. When storm clouds threaten, He reminds me that the sunlight of His love never dims. As I behold my King, see His purpose, and receive the peace and power of His life, He transforms the weary climb into sweet fellowship with Himself, and the pressing tumult into peaceful rest in His arms.

Unconditional peace

Jesus knows how easily I forget my heavenly citizenship, focus on circumstances, and lose my peace. Therefore, He reminds me to take and wear His peace which never changes:

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." John 14:27

Long ago a man sought the perfect picture of peace. Not finding one that satisfied, he announced a contest to produce this masterpiece. The challenge stirred the imagination of artists everywhere, and paintings arrived from far and wide. Finally the great day of revelation arrived.

The judges uncovered one peaceful scene after another, while viewers clapped and cheered.

The tensions grew. Only two pictures remained veiled. As a judge pulled the cover from one, a hush fell over the crowd. A mirror-smooth lake reflected lacy, green birches under the soft blush of the evening sky. Along the grassy shore, a flock of sheep grazed undisturbed. Surely this was the winner.

The man with the vision uncovered the second painting himself, and the crowd gasped in surprise. Could this be peace? A tumultuous waterfall cascaded down a rocky precipice; the crowd could almost feel its cold, penetrating spray. Stormy-gray clouds threatened to explode with lightning, wind and rain. In the midst of the thundering noises and bitter chill, a spindly tree clung to the rocks at the edge of the falls. One of its branches reached out in front of the torrential waters as if foolishly seeking to experience its full power. A little bird had built a nest in the elbow of that branch. Content and undisturbed in her stormy surroundings, she rested on her eggs. With her eyes closed and her wings ready to cover her little ones, she manifested peace that transcends all earthly turmoil.

Put on the Prince of Peace and enjoy His stillness through every storm in your life.

By Berit Kjos



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